New to chickens but loving it.......


May 17, 2015
Denton, TX
I am still a new chicken owner. Last year I bought a coop and 6 chicks from Tractor Supply. They told me I was buying Rock Cornish Hens. However, when I kept running out of food (you know where this is headed, lol), my friend who has 30 chickens said "There's something wrong." I told her maybe they accidentally sold me turkey chicks. I went online to look at pictures of turkey chicks and under one of those pictures was my chickens. Rock Cornish Hen X, Rock Cornish Hen Cross. I read they would die at 8 weeks old, of either heart attacks or breakage of legs, unless butchered first. Needless to sa,y I was thrown into the chicken world fast. I had to pick them up and set them out of the coop every morning and pick them up and put them in the coop every night because their leg span was too wide to walk the ladder attached to the coop. They grew very fast and were actually calm chickens. However, the coop had to be changed often because they poop nuclear size poop, lol. I watched Youtube videos on butchering and ended up meeting someone who actually had these chickens and had butchered all of his. He came over and taught me and I did my own birds. The smallest, dressed out was 7 lbs., the largest dressed out was 8 lbs. Delicious!!!! Sadly, I can only imagine what happened to a family with little children, who may have gone to Tractor Supply to start their own chicken raising and not know what they got and watch all their chickens die.

This year I asked a friend to get some for me and he brought home the most amazing birds. He told me they were a cross between two Heritage breeds and he gave me a slip of paper with the names of those breeds.....I lost the paper, lol and he can't remember. So I researched pictures online for a coupla weeks and there they were....Amber Star, Amber Link. They are amazing. I have 12 and they are soooooo friendly. As soon as I walk outside they come running. They love attention. I can sit in a chair and they will forage around me. I have sat for two hours at a time, just watching them. Totally fascinated by them. Got a rooster from friends, who don't know what it is, and once I figure out how to use this website I would like to post a picture of him to see if anyone can tell me. He is beautiful. I keep thinking I will eventually want other breeds but quite honestly, I may not. These are just too good to be true. Even the rooster is calm! I am becoming someone I don't even know......a chicken lover, lol. I have a ranch with cattle and would like to venture into goats at some point. My animals are pets but I also use them for meat. My bulls become steers until they are old enough to butcher. If I have too many, then I sell them. Have a small herd since I have only been doing them two years. Was a farmer before that, raising wheat, oats, milo. Didn't have any animals then, so this is a whole new season for me and I'm loving it.
Hello and Welcome to BYC!
What a great story!
I had to cull a few roosters but didn't get much off of them
. I'm glad your chicken experiences have turned out for the best!
Thank you Elli and Chickengirl for the encouragement! I hope to be an encouragement to others and to be an awesome chicken lover, lol. I want my chickens to know nothing but love and a full belly and gossiping all day long
. Looking forward to learning how to be aware of when something is wrong and what to do so they don't suffer. So far so good. Ya'll have a great week!
I have heard of your experience from several other newbies this month - and yes they did have young kids and thought their Cornish x would be great pets. After I told one, she was able to trade them for other breeds. Another had hers butchered elsewhere and got an other white breed figuring her kids wouldn't know the difference. Kids are a lot smarter, than parents expect. They are very observant especially at a young age.

It's really sad what goes on at some chain feed stores - birds are mislabeled. employees who don't have a clue, sell a dozen "pullets" that end up to be roosters, and so on.
Even worse is the employees who have no training at all in the field, recommend medications and products that can be very harmful. Makes me think of feathered chick mills operating just like puppy mills.

So glad you joined the flock and were able to use your chickens. The amber link/amber stars are great layers so you should be able to open an egg stand on the side.

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