U.S. Marine turned Chicken lover


May 11, 2015
Hello all!

The title says it all. I am U.S. Marine Combat veteran. I am now employed as a Water Plant Superintendent. Earlier this year my son decided that he wanted to show chickens at the local fair for 4h. Well I knew that I would end up doing most of the work and since we do not live on a farm would have to build a enclosure and coop. My wife bought 3 Cochin bantams (1 rooster and 2 hens) from a young man down the road that had won Grand Champion in the past. I built the enclosure and then after seeing the prices of new coops bought an old one from the same guy. After a couple of days I decided that I wanted to get some chicks of my own. I started out with 3 Australorps and 3 of a breed I can't remember. While I was at work one day my wife accidentally left my garage door open and my 1 and a half year old German Shepard tried to play with my several week old chicks. I lost 4 of my 6 chickens and was left with 2 Australorp pullets. Needless to say I was really upset as I had been taking care of these babies for 4 weeks plus! My wife felt so bad that she went out a bought me SEVEN more chicks! lol! I couldn't believe it and she didn't even check the breeds. I now know that I have 2 Americuana's *sp (easter eggers? I believe 1 Cockerel and 1 Pullet), 2 Barred rocks (pretty sure 1 Cockerel and 1 Pullet), and 3 other chicks (2 white, 1 tan) I am not sure the breed. If I post pictures later I am sure someone will be able to help me. Anyway now I had 9 chickens plus my sons show chickens so I made my enclosure bigger and built a new coop just fore my little buddies. I have really really enjoyed raising these chickens, and plan on making a go of it. Does anyone have any suggestions considering I have at least 4 different breeds of chickens? I love the looks of the Barred Rocks right now, but to be honest I think their all beautiful (except for the plain white and tan ones). I plan on eating a lot of eggs. I hope. Are any of these breeds better than the other? Will it hurt me to keep them all? This has been the most fun project I have started in a really long time! Who would have thought? A marine and chickens!

Have a great day!
Welcome to BYC - my husband retired about five years ago after spending just over 21 years as a Marine.
As long as you have the space, appropriate housing and are legally allowed to have this number, I do not see why you would have any issue with keeping the flock you have...other than you are a bit cockerel heavy. Being out of balance on your M/F ratio can lead to issues of aggression between the males and also abuse of the females. You may want to head this off at the pass by changing your flock around (ridding yourself of one or all of the roosters) or wait and see how it goes but be prepared to make the change. I would also be careful about housing birds intended for show as you want to be sure your son's birds stay in top condition and being that they will be small and in a flock with the potential for rooster issues that could be an issue.
I would suggest taking and posting some photos of all your birds - we can help you positively ID both breed and gender and that way you can start making decisions about your flock with good, accurate information on what you are working with.
Ahh yes.. Thank you for your reply. I did separate my son's show chickens from my actual flock as I do not intend to keep them after this fair season. He has decided it isn't his thing. I live in the country and am fairly certain there are no restrictions on how many chickens I can have as long as I keep them penned up. I do have neighbors so I won't be able to free range them.
Thanks for your service, and
from Louisiana!
Thank you sincerely for your years in service. Sorry your son is losing interest in his show birds. Cochins are a very nice breed and the females often go broody, which means if you have fertile eggs(of any breed) under them they will sit ,hatch and raise them as their own.

Welcome to Backyard chickens - hope you enjoy BYC as much as we do.
Welcome to BYC!

It's great your interest picked up where your son's left off. There are people from all walks of life here so you'll fit right in. Thank you for your years of service.

@Ol Grey Mare has given you some good advice about the m/f ratio. The recommendation is 1 male to 8-10 females to prevent overbreeding and stress-related issues. Glad you are enjoying your flock and you'll soon be enjoying lots of eggs.

It's nice to have you join us. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!
I have just got to say that I admire you Marines and for everything you did - my father was special forces during the second WW and it was tough then so God only knows what it is like now. I am sure you will find raising chickens a doddle after what you have been through they are a great stress reliever, until they get sick then you go manic!!!!

The men on my dad's side were all military back to the civil war and were all from back in the sticks, farmed to eat and feed the family, and that included chickens. So no,it's not surprising or unmanly to admit you enjoy your chickens. Fresh eggs and meat from your own flock beat store bought any day. welcome to the flock! Thank you for your service devil dog ,Oorah!
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