When Suzy and I picked up our first six chickens, we had no idea how far we were going to take this whole chicken thing. We had just moved from a condo to a five acre mini-farm outside the small town of Parrish, Florida. We were pretty excited to get started with our new life as rural-farm-type-people. We each still had our day jobs, but that wasn’t going to stop us from doing everything you could on five acres. Suzy had a five year plan for acquiring chickens, sheep, goats, pigs and dogs. I had a three month plan to accomplish the same list.
Chickens were first on the list. Every farmer – even ones playing at it on the weekends – should have a few hens running around scratching and pecking at the earth beneath their feet. They are the perfect visual accessory to what we really wanted to see: the larger and more impressive hooved animals. At least that’s what we thought as we drove home with three Golden Laced Wyandotte and three Splash Wyandotte chicks in a cardboard box.
Within days, the Wyandottes were joined by four Barred Plymouth Rocks we acquired from another farm. Soon they all graduated from the brooder to their new coop in the outside world. It was shortly after that when those ten crazy chickens took over the farm.
There is something about watching chickens interact with each other and the world. They are funny. Not always laugh-out-loud funny, but still funnier than most of the new tv shows that premiere each year. By the time our birds were two-months old, we had decided that they would be the focus of our farm.
We studied every piece of information we could find about chickens. We spent our weekends driving back and forth across the state to find a few good examples of the breeds we wanted to raise. And by the time one year had passed we had developed our micro-hatchery; hatching baby chicks from the four breeds we selected and selling them to local folks who wanted to take their first few steps towards backyard flock keeping.
One of the things we enjoy most has always been sharing what we have learned with our customers. It is fun to keep chickens. It is more fun to help people find out how much fun it is to keep chickens.
Suzy and I decided to start the Online Chicken School so that we can share what we have learned, and maybe inspire you to give chicken keeping a try. We hope you will find the same joy we have.