'When you have chickens, ...'

czachary

In the Brooder
Nov 23, 2020
1
21
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My maternal grandfather always had chickens in his back yard, and during the Depression their eggs helped feed his five children and the family next door. When I was growing up, he often told me, "When you have chickens, be sure to get Rhode Island Reds. They're the best." I always thought it cute that he said "When," and not "If." It took me more years than I care to confess, but, finally, I have chickens -- and I'm hooked.

Eighteen months ago I bought six 2-week-old chicks -- three RIRs and three Barred Rocks -- and acquired a third-hand coop with a small attached run. When a coyote carried off one of my neighbor's three Barred Rocks, I gave her two of mine so her small flock could generate sufficient heat to make it through the Maine winter. Then I lost my remaining Barred Rock to a hawk, and one of my Reds to a fox. Upset but not discouraged, I bought two more of each -- and on their second night with me, two coyotes carried off two of my new girls. (Tough life for chickens here in Maine.)

I stopped free-ranging for a time, secured my run, acquired a sweet 3-month-old Brahma rooster that takes his job as protector very seriously, and used a metallic silver car windshield sun shade to reflect the sun's glare and discourage hawks. A crow family has since moved in to help. The friend who gave me the Brahma boy also contributed some of her chickens, and my small flock is holding now at seven girls plus my roo: two Reds, two Rocks, two golden lace Wyandottes, and one black Australorp. I've added a second, heavy and secure new coop, and my new, predator-proof (I hope) run is nearing completion. Another friend is contributing an incubator, so perhaps there will be baby chicks at some point.

Don't even want to think about the financial investment; I used to joke about the thousand-dollar eggs I was selling for $3/dozen. I don't make that joke anymore; it's too close to reality. But watching those girls gallop toward me, with the rooster flanking them, when I come out with cracked corn puts a smile on my face every time.
 

Hei 20

Free Ranging
Oct 8, 2020
1,926
10,857
501
My maternal grandfather always had chickens in his back yard, and during the Depression their eggs helped feed his five children and the family next door. When I was growing up, he often told me, "When you have chickens, be sure to get Rhode Island Reds. They're the best." I always thought it cute that he said "When," and not "If." It took me more years than I care to confess, but, finally, I have chickens -- and I'm hooked.

Eighteen months ago I bought six 2-week-old chicks -- three RIRs and three Barred Rocks -- and acquired a third-hand coop with a small attached run. When a coyote carried off one of my neighbor's three Barred Rocks, I gave her two of mine so her small flock could generate sufficient heat to make it through the Maine winter. Then I lost my remaining Barred Rock to a hawk, and one of my Reds to a fox. Upset but not discouraged, I bought two more of each -- and on their second night with me, two coyotes carried off two of my new girls. (Tough life for chickens here in Maine.)

I stopped free-ranging for a time, secured my run, acquired a sweet 3-month-old Brahma rooster that takes his job as protector very seriously, and used a metallic silver car windshield sun shade to reflect the sun's glare and discourage hawks. A crow family has since moved in to help. The friend who gave me the Brahma boy also contributed some of her chickens, and my small flock is holding now at seven girls plus my roo: two Reds, two Rocks, two golden lace Wyandottes, and one black Australorp. I've added a second, heavy and secure new coop, and my new, predator-proof (I hope) run is nearing completion. Another friend is contributing an incubator, so perhaps there will be baby chicks at some point.

Don't even want to think about the financial investment; I used to joke about the thousand-dollar eggs I was selling for $3/dozen. I don't make that joke anymore; it's too close to reality. But watching those girls gallop toward me, with the rooster flanking them, when I come out with cracked corn puts a smile on my face every time.
 

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416bigbore

I am A Big Boy Now!
Premium Feather Member
Jun 11, 2020
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:welcome:woot:woot:celebrate:yesss: Welcome to BYC, You found an Awesome Forum to be a part of with lots of great knowledgeable members who are more then willing to jump in and help you with any questions you may have. :)

Sorry for your loss, predators are no fun and unfortunately once they know where they can get a free meal will return unless your proactive.

Best of luck and please keep us posted. :)
 

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