I finally have my chickens!

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For those of you who "know me', after 40 years of planning a homestead and dreaming of having chickens and goats and ducks and "stuff"...today I have chickens! YEAH! I realize that many of you guys have tons of birds, but these 7 Rhode Island Reds and one Orpington are just right for us. We built a coop out of old barn lumber and disgarded windows..it looks great! The girls must like it already, since one of them laid an egg in the nesting box an hour after they arrived! I am absolutely thrilled! Here's my first question: Some folks have said that Reds and Orpingtons will not get whacked by hawks because they are too big. These birds were free-ranging on three acres with hawks all over the place...were they just lucky???????? After the hens get used to their new home (3 days), we will have them 100% free-ranging except at night (owls, coons, etc.)...thanks in advance for any replies...I have Chickens!!Whee!

-- Lesley (martchas@bellsouth.net), March 21, 2001


Congratulations Lesley!!! See dreams do come true...with lots of hard work and vision. I'm very happy for you, enjoy those chickens!

-- Judy in Md. (trailhppr@msn.com), March 21, 2001.

Congrats, "Mom"!!!! Have FUN - they're wonderful entertainment in addition to the eggs!!

-- Sue Diederich (willow666@rocketmail.com), March 21, 2001.


-- Cindy (SE In) (atilrthehony_1@yahoo.com), March 21, 2001.

Congrats, I know you will enjoy them, how old are they, just wait until you get your first eggs. Good luck.

-- tracy emily in TN (emilyfarms@tsixroads.com), March 21, 2001.

That is great Lesley. I can relate to the way you are feeling because I am still in the planning stage and working on getting the coop ready for new tenants (I am converting the tack room of the stable into a coop.)(Sorry, horse people)

I know I will feel just the way that you do once I finally get to have chickens. Then I can move on to sheep and alpacas. But for now, I am contenting myself with getting the small nut and fruit orchard in.

-- Colleen (pyramidgreatdanes@erols.com), March 22, 2001.

Hi Lesley - say hello to Neil! I have had a (quite large) Goshawk check out the free-range boys and girls, and while it scared the bejezus out of them, it never attacked. They did scurry for cover. I have a few Banties free-ranging as well, but they seem a little more cautious than the large breeds. Rhode Islands and Orpingtons would be a wicked load for even a large hawk. My problem has been foxes, and on occasion, raccoons. GL!

-- Brad (homefixer@SacoRiver.net), March 22, 2001.

Hey Brad! Thanks everyone, I feel better about letting the hens out on Saturday...lots of bugs on the menu. There are a pair of Red Tail hawks that have a nest close by, and i was somewhat worried about them..the fellow i bought the hens from also has a pair nesting practically on top of his coops..Neil & I watched them a few weeks ago diving and swooping around, but the man said they had never tried to whack one of the big hens (famous last words).....the way Neil built this coop no way any coons of foxes will be able to get to the hens...I told him we could use it as a storm shelter it's so strong LOL......God bless.

-- Lesley (martchas@bellsouth.net), March 22, 2001.

Congratulations! I felt the same way when we got hens. I lost 2 within the 1st six months but I think our rooster has kept the last one pretty safe. I love to hear my rooster crow. He's a red and he's so beautiful. They seem to be pretty hardy animals. The eggs are great, mine free range also. I think reds also tend to blend in with their surroundings better. Maybe this helps keep them from being spotted by hawks. I'm learning just like you and I love every minute of it. You may not lose any if your penning them up at night. Best Wishes your on your way to some good eating!!!!

-- Vickie Allen (ouvickie@hotmail.com), March 26, 2001.

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