New to chickens- starting marans

Dywnarc

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 22, 2013
3
0
7
Hello. My name is Shane and I just joined this group.

I live on saltspring Island BC canada.

I have wanted chickens for awhile, my primary reasons were-

1) We have a three year old child, and my brother next door has a 2 and 4 year old, I beleive in having childern grow up known and understanding and experiencing where food comes from. For the same reason we have a good sized garden.

2) I am distrustfull of both the global econonmey and dependence on centralized food distribution. I am NOT a survialist, and 95% of the families food is still store bought, but I want to have the knowledge to raise my own food and slowly increase the amount food the family consumes grown on my own property.

I found out the local poultry society was having a work bee to build small mobile coops. The modivation was to help people that want backyard chickens to get a start, and some of the memebers wanted a small mobile coop for broody hens, or to isolate small populations of there birds for different reasons.

I like being part of community projects, and have some carpentry skills, so I voluntered to help with the work bee and get a coop for myself in the process.

I had no ideal what type of bird I wanted! I was going to buy some hatchery layers to get egg production going right away and figured that was a good start for "practice" and then in a few years when they were dried up, figure out what breed I wanted.

However a contractor friend of mine that I had no ideal raised chickens was breeding Black/copper Marans and felt they were a good breed for the wet coast climate and had a gentle nature for being arround childern. I went to check out his opperation and found I liked the look of the birds a lot, the eggs also were very attractive, and sure enough, my child could walk arround them and none of them got very stired up or excited. I kept a close eye on the rooster, but even he was very calm and seamed rather unconcerned with my excited childs presence. This was a good sign for me.

I had the coop at home already, and much to the delight of my son, I took 6 young hens (about the size of paint quart cans, with there adult feathers just in) right there. He also gave me three young roosters suggesting when they start fighting I pick the one I like most to keep and roast the other two!

I have had them a week and I am shocked ho fast they are growing on the organic growth feed I was given to start them on. (I was told when that bag was empty its the right time to switch to lower protein mix)

They are in a mobile coop that I can move to give them fresh grass underneither every day. Right now I am keeping them in the coop till they are comfortable with me, the childern and there new home, but I intend on semi-free ranging them in my 50X 100 fenced gardena area, and just protecting the garden boxes I do not want them in.

I am not a "breed purist" and have no intention of "raising marans" aside from my own uses of meat and eggs. However from all the reading I have done on the breed, these appear to have all the charactistics of a "real" maran, with the lightly feathered feet and eye and skin color and all that. Although this is kind of cool, I could really care less as I just want a resonably healthy breed for meat and eggs.

At this point I will just be happy when they start laying eggs and I can eat the two surplus roosters, but I am already thinking of plans for my property for expanding. I would like to get to the point where I am breeding my own replacements and suppling 100% of my families chicken meat needs from my own production.
 

redsoxs

Crowing
8 Years
Jul 17, 2011
25,643
2,075
463
North Central Kansas
Greetings from Kansas, Shane, and
welcome-byc.gif
! Great to have you with us! I like your lifestyle choice...that is a direction I've been heading in for some time - not a prepper or anything...but just in case something were to happen.
I think Marans are an excellent choice. Good luck to you and your breeding plans, etc.
 

Dywnarc

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 22, 2013
3
0
7
Saltspring Island has an abundence of road side egg stands, some small streets have one every 2nd driveway! But some fluke, my area, which is very very rural, dosn't have any egg stands. I know as I expand my flock I will produce more eggs then I can use. I might be able to supply eggs to the neighbour hood to help with the feed costs.
 

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