Room to breath

Room to breath

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

When i started with chickens

When I first ventured into the world of chickens the most I knew was they were used for meat and eggs.. Basic... I knew the obvious that there would be different breeds just like other animals, but words like bantams, cockerels, pullets. All of these things were new and I did not know beak to tail feather about them. But like with anything else I do I researched as much as I could and learned more as time went on and wanted to go over some of the breeds that I have.

The breed that was on the property when we first moved here was a Black Australorp. It is unfortunate that I honestly do not have this breed anymore but she was a pretty one. All black with a greenish tint to her feathers, and a extremely dependable layer. But having just one chicken with such a big coop, I had to fix that so I ventured to find more chickens.

I searched online trying to find chickens wasn't even sure how much they would be. But I found around 15 from some people looking to get rid of theirs. I then had
Black stars
Red stars
Road island reds
Barred rock
And the white leghorn

I was luck to find someone looking to re home a road island red rooster and then I finally had my flock. The barred rocks I have to say have been the most skid dish out of the group I had. They are very dependable egg layers, all of them I have to say were laying daily. It was not long before I was over flowing with eggs with no clue what to do with all of them. They all worked well together as a flock and the only complaint I think I had at that point was that white leghorn can for the most part fly. They do not stay contained well and I would find them stuck outside of the coop from time to time.

I have to say I learned a lot in the short span of having them. I never knew the vent was for everything.... Everything exiting them... Not the best method in my opinion but a chicken is a chicken. Having them after time made my love and passion for them grow. So as any newer person to chickens I did the inevitable ... I hatched my own lol. It was fun and exciting all at the same time, mixed in with a little discouragement because hatching is not the easiest thing in the world with no experience and cliff notes from the internet. I do cover incubating in another blog on here. But in the end I hatched two more roosters and three of four more hens. I was ecstatic!!! We used the brooder box in the house (not a good idea btw makes a mess and can get stinky) then moved them to a transition coop we built in the roost. It is all framed out and lined with chicken wire so everyone can see everyone.

I had brought my new birds out to the coop and placed them sin the transition coop until I felt they were big enough to mix. Then came the disaster. My moms dog broke out of her pin and found the coop and killed every single chicken I had except for two barred rocks..... And the ones protected by the transition coop I had built... I was crushed. I did have some in the incubator but hadn't mastered my technique to feel okay with the few chickens I had left. It changed the dynamic of my flock by far and now I had three rooster to 6 hens. Not a good ratio btw. But I gave them plenty of room and worked overtime on the incubator and kept my fingers crossed..... Wouldn't know know they all hatched... I had the incubator full I might of even had my second one at that point and my lunch hatched around 80 babies last spring. I was able to replenish my flock traded the overage of roosters.... Downsized the overages on the hens... Now the breeds I had at that point were
Barred rock
Black star
Road island red

And my own mix the tetra tint. When I had the original flock I had my white leghorn hens and my road island red rooster. When you mix the breed you end up with a tetra tint. Now a lot of times mixing is mixing you now have a barn yard mix. But what I love about the tetras is you have the dependability of the egg laying from the white leg horn but now you also have a meatier bird from the mix wight the road island red. Beautiful combination with white chicks with either or both red highlights in feathers or black spots ( kinda like a Dalmatian ) beautiful hens I have to say.

Overall I have fallen in love with all the different breeds that I have and have made plans to add more or have added to the flock over the past few months.
Buff orphington
Silver laced Wyandotte
Black polish
And hopefully bringing back my white leghorns for those wonderful white eggs.
I also hope to expand our farm and the blog to also cover Guinea fowl and turkey's!!! It's an amazing experience going back in time it can feel at times and learning to appreciate all of the simpler things in life. I LOVE my chickens and think to some have already establish the chicken lady. Not the most appealing title but you know what... you are what you enjoy!! H

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