Unexpected Chicken Farm (Free Range Eggs Only)

Anna Lewis

In the Brooder
Jul 20, 2021
8
60
46
Hello,

I am a city girl new to the country in the Midwest, where I met and married my husband who grew up on a farm. We purchased a home with 20 acres, which is mostly untouched forest but has a few acres of grazing land. My husband and I discovered a Leghorn rooster who was living in the forest and roosting in the trees at night. We fed him for a few weeks and earned his trust so that he began to roost at the woodline. We felt so bad for him, all alone, so decided to get him some hens, and the journey began. Fred can fly away at anytime, but he loves his hens, and Betsty is always doing her own thing, usually alone, even wanders into the house now and then looking/begging for cheese. The chicks, our latest addition, always stick together and love to play with the wild qual chicks that spend hours in the raspberry patch. It was not easy getting to this point, where qual, wild turkey, geese and song birds thrive.

When we moved here it was all silent, no deer, no colorful birds, etc., nothing except for wolve howels at night and crowing during the day. Hubby can shoot a running chickmunk and crow with ease, to give you an idea, and it took a lot of ammo scaring all the preditors away. After a few months of the chickens being in a large gated area, they now rome freely, and a hawk shows up about once every few months. The yellow jackets and chickmunks were the final pests to get rid of, aggressive beings that hackle and scare the small birds (especial to the humming birds) and chicks, they are all nearly gone. He was killing about 10 chickmunks a day, now just 1 or 2. I love our chickens greatly, they are so trusting and look to us for protection, and gunfire doesn't even scare the chicks or most the other birds around, and the humming birds won't even wait for me to hang their replenished feeders before they start eating from it while it's in my hand. They I think know that we keep them safe.

(1) Are you new to chickens / when did you first get chickens?
See above

(2) How many chickens do you have right now?
9, pending 5 more adult hens and 10 baby chicks

(3) What breeds do you have?
Leghorn
Golden Commet (4)
Black Star
Black Australorp
Cream Legbar (3)

(4) What are your favorite aspects of raising backyard chickens?
Seeing them thrive, getting lots of food naturally, seeing them around the property (daughter does all the chicken chores)

(5) What are some of your other hobbies?
Book collecting, reading, fishing trips with family, wild bird feeding, family time

(6) Tell us about your family, your other pets, your occupation, or anything else you'd like to share.
We have an Austrian Shepard female, she does not even eye the chickens like food or anything, super smart dog and disciplined. I trained her to do several tricks, even before 3 months old. Her brother was returned to the breeder for want of wits and not being suitable for chickens (breeder accepted him back and stated he would raise him as his own - I have never been a "dog person"). I am an analyst by trade so I observe the pecking order and whose who of the coop, and I analyze their cute behavior, mainly as just being cute and just being chickens, very adorable. I continue to educate myself more about chickens, there is a wealth of knowledge and experience on this forum.

(7) Bonus: How did you find BYC, how long have you known about BYC, and what made you finally join our awesome community? :D
Seeing so many passionate responses from people who genuinely love their chickens, as I do mine.
 
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