Stop by & offer a few pointers, or point & laugh, as a few old farts figure out the fine art of living... Life on a Few Acres

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Meet my Dirty White Boy!

or Tiny 'Tude,  as he's known on the inter nets!

I was tickled to get a starter flock for my birthday!  I had waffled on which breed, what age, where to put them for quite a while, and surprised everyone when I waited so long to deem it "chicken time!"  Hard to believe we've had this place 18 months already, and are just now turning our attention to the live stock.  Include the ten years or so I've been nurturing this life style dream  and  it's been even longer.  So long, in fact, that I'd begun to worry that the
enthusasm had dampened.  Fortunately a sense that the time was right hit me full force, and I was practically wiggling with excitement knowing we'd reached this phase of the plan.  Finally:  CHICKEN TIME!

I first explored buying some one year Easter Eggers from a fella not far away.  The idea was basically they'd be old enough to survive my inexperience.  That didn't work out though, since his birds were a little flightier than I wanted.

So, after poking around I settled on 6 Buff Orpington hens,  2 Easter Eggers, and a Buff Orpington Rooster for my wish list.  I wrote this down in my clearest hand writing on a half dozen pieces of paper, trusting that I'd soon be *surprised*...and to no one's surprise, it worked, and I was.

Orschelns was winding down their chick days sales at this point, and didn't have any males left, so we got just the 8 hens.  I started sourcing that Orpington roo I wanted, but held off buying one thinking there was a decent chance one of my gals would prove to be a dude.  That was four weeks or so ago, and watching the lil one in the pic develop an ever bigger and redder comb has done nothing to disuade me from the idea that I scored that fella I wanted after all.  Now the question is, is s/he really an Orpington?  Heck if I know.  Not sure about any of the breeds, actually.  Time will tell.  I went with the Orps as they're calm, decent layer dual purpose birds, according to their press.  I also wanted the broodiness so I could "work less, profit more."

So far, so good.  Now it's time to decide where the chicken tractor coop- chicken yard starts out.  We've only had one AI case in a five county radius, but I'm still very concerned about staying on top of that potential problem.  I know we have cats, dogs, owls, possum, snakes, rats, cayote and ground hogs.  Also have deer, rabbit and mice, but am guessing that they are of no threat. 

I'd hoped to set the tractor in the garden, and run the chickens through it, and through the pastures after goats had been through.  Now I'm leaning more towards the "you can date when you're 30" err, I mean, keeping them in the laundry room and SAFE indefinitly.

Been told that really isn't an option LOL, so:  any one have opionions on how close is too close when it comes to chicken condos?


  1. Congratulations! First chickens are so much fun. Yeah, they do need to be kept safe! Our Buffs have been all those things you mention and are a good choice. The Easter Eggers are a must with first chickens, I think. I got two for Dan, just for the fun of the colored eggs.

    By close do you mean too close to the garden? How close can each bird get on the roost?

    I agree that the bigger comb is likely a little roo, but I don't think Buffs have black wing tips. Still, it's a start. Again, congrats. Sounds like you're off to an excellent start.

  2. I meant how close to the house can a chicken house be. I wanted them down in the garden <300 ft> but seem to be outvoted. Yes, you are right about the roo, he's no orpington. I think I ended up with Rhode Island Reds, or Red stars. Either way, so far so good!

    1. There are probably a lot of opinions regarding how close to the house a chicken coop can be. Things in favor of keeping them close is ease of care and easier to keep an eye on. Reasons to keep them farther away will include sanitation and smell (which can happen in spite of the best intentions). I think folks with chicken tractors move them all over the place, close and far away. Shade is a good thing to have for a coop. Another factor is that chickens are loud and noisy! Some of them will go on and on and on over laying an egg. Or half a dozen of them will get going about which nest box isn't vacant. If one sounds an alarm, they'll all start squawking. And roosters! They can crow nonstop including in the middle of the night. If you're in the coop at the time it's almost enough to hurt your ears.

      No matter what, yours are doing well and that's the first step. :)