The Hobby Farm has officially begun!

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by newtnn, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. newtnn

    newtnn Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, I'm Nick.
    My wife (Rachel) and I bought our first house a couple of months ago in Southwest Michigan, and it happens to sit on 5 acres of land.
    So, we are planning to start a hobby farm featuring heritage breeds of various livestock, specifically sheep as Rachel is a spinner/weaver/knitter/crocheter/fiber artist.
    But, with time limited before winter, we started somewhat small and went with chickens.

    The folks that owned the house before us liked to throw pieces of old projects away in the back woods, so we were able to assemble our coop using solely wood found on the property (and some miss-mixed paint from Home Depot.)
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    since these pictures the coop now has a ramp, and we built an enclosure for our compost pile next to the coop. (it is also covered in snow)


    As far as our flock is concerned, initially we bought two Hamburgs and two Lakenvelders from someone in the area.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Unfortunately since we wanted to free-range them... two disappeared (and I'm blaming a neighbor dog for now). That left us with two lonely and somewhat spooked girls.

    More recently I was able to get 6 Russian Orloffs from a different breeder in the area, and I am in love.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    These little girls have some spunk, and are cute as buttons. So eventually we hope to participate in expanding and propagating the breed (Orloffs are critically endangered in the States), but for now they get to hang out in the coop for the winter since the snow decided to come early.
    The flock is getting along very well so far! The Orloffs give the older girls some space around the food dish, but no feathers have been lost as of yet so I count that as a win!

    I have really enjoyed my experience with raising chickens so far, and even though I plan to focus more on sheep down the line, I think these little cluckers are going to keep a special place in my heart.

    -Nick in Fennville, Michigan
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
  2. chickenlover09

    chickenlover09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2014
    Hi!


    My liking of chickens are definetly a little higher than sheep:) They are humorous, very friendly, but have an iq of uh -20. Just kidding I hardly give mine credit but they are very smart.

    Your chickens are cute! Love the pictures!!

    :)
     
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Congrats on the new home, and good work getting the chickens settled in the coop before the snow started falling. I live in a bit more rural area of Comstock Park, north of Grand Rapids, so we are getting that lake effect snow today like you are. We have a couple of Russian Orloffs in our flock,but they are from a hatchery. They are probably not as great examples of the breed as your Orloffs, but they are spunky and pretty hens never the less.
     
  4. newtnn

    newtnn Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 2, 2014
    Fennville, Michigan
    Hey thanks! And who knows, maybe down the line we will have the chance to do a swap scratch'n'peck!
     
  5. newtnn

    newtnn Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 2, 2014
    Fennville, Michigan
    Another update, today I decided to take some pictures of the six Orloffs pullets I came home with on Friday.
    Once again, I'm not sure if they're all girls, or if they're a mixed bag, but for now I'll call 'em girls and hope the boys don't develop identity issues because of that.
    The following pictures I snapped one by one as I introduced each of them to my dogs to help prevent future confrontations.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Here are the first three, the first one is the largest (and likely a couple weeks older) followed by the third, but the second bird is still bigger than the following three.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    and I THINK these are the next three, I don't think I got any repeats in here, but they look pretty similar to me. The first one here is the biggest of these three, while the middle I believe was the smallest of the bunch.
    Apparently white is an undesirable color for Orloffs, but I find it somewhat endearing (I must be biased).
     
  6. chickenlover09

    chickenlover09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2014
    They're cute!
     
  7. Gwendylyn

    Gwendylyn Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2014
    Waller, Washington
    Congrats on the new home! My hubby & I are smack in the middle of buying a few acres to start our farm :) It must be so great to be getting settled & projects started!

    Best of luck to you guys!
     
  8. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    At our lodge
    My Coop
    SO CUTE!
     
  9. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    They are cute. When I have several chickens of one breed, I like it when the don't all conform to breed standards. Their individual differences help me tell them apart. Well I don't keep chickens to breed the perfect specimen. They are my pets really. I looked back at photos of my Orloffs to see how they matured. Here are photos of them when they were about 3 months old.

    This is Sasha who never developed a beard or muffs.
    [​IMG]


    And this is Natasha. You can see the initial development of her beard.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. newtnn

    newtnn Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 2, 2014
    Fennville, Michigan
    Chicken update!
    It's been almost two weeks since I introduced you all to the little farm project Rachel and I started, so I figure it's about time for an update.
    Since last time we've had snow, and rain, and snow again, and the little birds have done well at staying interested in the scratch-filled plastic bottles I put in the coop.

    Also, boy have they grown!

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    Here are my 6 Russian Orloff pullets, they have grown quite a bit in these two weeks! Still mostly cheeping/chirping, no squawks or crowing yet, but they have some spunk!
    Usually one or two of them will make a flying leap at the door when I open it up to feed them in the morning, I'll pretend they just are looking for a hug. ;)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    And here are my Hamburg and Lakenvelder gals. No eggs so far since the molt and the shortened days, but I recently added a timed light that comes on around 4-5am so I'm hoping that issue has been remedied and they will actually lay again.

    [​IMG]
    Lastly, a picture of the coop (and compost pile-to-be) slightly snowy, we've had another warmer day today so the snow is starting to melt again.

    Thanks for looking once again, feel free to comment/question/post your own pictures!

    -Nick
     

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