Nine chickens and a baby: My introduction

Morning Dove

11 Years
Oct 13, 2008
Eastern Shore MD

I've been posting a little, but I have not introduced my self yet. I'm Dove, and here is my "Chicken Story".....

Last December we got the great news I was indeed pregnant and due in August. At the time I was working at a local poultry vaccination company producing poultry vaccines. (It's a nasty messy job, don't ask!) Because I worked with chicken pathogens I was required by my job to NOT own any chickens, in fact I couldn't have any birds at all. Well, we had a decision to make, to keep my job or not, and for many reasons, that I won't go into here, I decided to quit, which then made it possible for us to raise some chickens. With the price of food going up, it just made sense! I own almost 2 acres, why the heck not? So we bought some extra chickens from some friends, who are vegetarians, as a favor and ended up with 7 roosters (young ones), and 2 hens (also young), all speckled sussex. That weekend we got the birds, we converted an old dog house and pen to a temporary coop, and began construction on a new coop. I was about 7.5 months pregnant.

Well, that Sunday, my water decided to break, and two days later, Julian was born, July 1st, 2008. He spend 11 days in the NICU, because he was about 6 weeks early, but he was almost 6 lbs, so he only needed a little help before we could bring him home. He was off the feeding tube in a day, and nursing like crazy. If you saw him now you wouldn't believe he was early at all! He's a little chubby michellen man now, double chin and all!

Those first weeks home I would take Julian, in his car seat, out to the coop, feed and water the birds, and then sit in the shade enjoying the early morning summer coolness, before it got crazy hot! The first chicken behavior I noticed was that they would all peck at the red parts on the car seat! LOL They were all sweet birds then, but the roos got older and got quite mean. They even chased my older son around the back yard one day and scratched him! I didn't let them out much after that, but when I did they would head straight for the hot peppers growing in pots on my deck...

The construction on the new coop went slowly, but it's finally done. I don't have any pictures, but it's not quite an A frame, but is Triangular. The bottom is a run, and then there is a walk up to the floor, where there are roosts, and the feeder, space for a nesting box, and we included a little trap door to reach in for eggs. The one side and roof is corrugated plastic. We used a pre-fab screen door, installed horizontally for a door on the open air part of the coop, and made a hinged door on the slanted part of the roof.

We did butcher 6 of our roos, which so far, have been delicious. Our remaining roo is named "Lucky" and our hens are "Hina" (that's Scandinavian for Hen) and of course "Henrietta". We expect to brood more in the spring. We are also planting a dwarf fruit tree orchard, and thinking about getting goats. For an additional source of income, I have found a job tutoring kids online in biology, which I have my degree in.

So, that's my story!

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~ Gemini Chick ~
11 Years
Oct 2, 2008
Bryson City, NC
Glad to know things turned out so well with Julian and hope things continue to work out with your chickens as well. I'm a newbie here too and just wanted to welcome you.

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