When April rolled around here at Furever Home Farm we knew chickens were in our future. I did my research and talked to a friend who is a certified ‘Crazy Chicken Lady’ and asked her opinion of best breeds.
I tend to overthink most everything but I was committed to getting friendly chickens and doing the best I could with them.
I went down to the local Tractor Supply and sure enough there were chickens and I was ready to get them. I got a total of 6 thinking it was a good number.
2 Rhode Island Reds
2 Leghorns (white)
1 New Hampshire Red
1 Brahma……….or so I thought.
Now I also decided to get all females. I have heard many many many horror stories about roosters and how mean they can be to the girls.
Six baby chickens. I was happy.
I knew NOTHING about raising chickens but I think I did a pretty good job. They lived in their brooder box in the garage for weeks. And as they grew older I would sit with them and get them used to being held and petted. I never thought I would succeed because they were so skiddish and not a fan of the attention.
Food? yes. Water oh yeah. Noisy yes. Cuteness factor? Off the charts.
As they grew, they got a bit well, gangly for lack of a better word as their fluff gave way to feathers.
Ok so they can’t live in the garage forever can they? No they can’t. They need a coop. So we did what we do best. We went overboard on the coop.
Automatic door opener to let the girls out in the morning and close at dark. Fence in concrete around coop and run to keep out vandals and miscreants up to no good and of course an egg box.
Water, did you ask about water? Got it covered. I didn’t like the metal waterers that the stores offered because they get dirty (did I mention chickens were messy?) and you have to keep refilling it, etc.
So what do we do? We make a system. We made a custom gutter on the back of the coop that flows into a water barrel. That feeds a pipe that runs to water cups that automatically refill when the level gets low.
Food. What about food. If I didn’t like the store bought waterers I certainly didn’t like the feeders. So pvc pipe to the rescue!!
They liked them so much we added a third one to avoid the traffic jams.
And made 2 small ones for grit and oyster shell
So back to the chickens. As they grew I noticed ‘Speckles’ who was supposed to be a Brahma was no longer looking like a Brahma. And wasn’t looking like a girl anymore either.
So more research and finally I came across a YouTube video of a guy in Austria who has WAY too many chickens but he went through his favorite breeds and when he got to the Russian Orlofs I said “That’s Speckles!!!!”
More research and sure enough that’s what she/he is.
Isn’t she pretty? Well HE is very handsome it turns out. Now I know he has no comb to speak of or waddle at all he is definitely all roo.
So when he begins to crow we will have all the confirmation we need. Until then we wait and watch him.
I never realized how fun they are to watch. And they come running every time they hear me say “Hey peep peeps”. Yes I have spoiled them too.