Chicken Addiction

My name is Eric and I have a chicken addiction.

Here's my story:
I started with 4 hens. Things were going along fine and I was content with my little flock.
We went in with our neighbors on 4 baby chicks and split them. Now I'm at 6.

I found a listing on Craigslist where a lady was selling 5 hens for $5ea AND throwing in an additional 2 hens. SOLD! Now I'm at 13. Still manageable. At this point my wife tells me "No more, we're done"! Granted this all happened in a matter of 2 months so I can understand her shock at my new addiction.

Fast forward 3 months. I'm driving home from an out of town trip so I called home to see how the kids were doing. My wife asks, "what are you doing tomorrow"? "Working, why"? "Someone from school is giving away 4 hens and looking for a good home. I told her you'd come by to get them". After my laughter subsided, I naturally agreed. I'm a chicken addict, what am I supposed to do?

So I'm at 17. 16 hens and a rooster named Elvis.

I check the farm and garden section of Craigslist fairly regularly for things I can use around the yard. Maybe add on to the coop or goat barn. I stumbled across an add for 24 chickens AND a coop for $50! Naturally, I nearly jumped out of my seat. I called and the young lady said they were still available but she was waiting to hear from some other people by the end of the day. I'm hopeful since she lives in the same area as me and the other interested parties were from out of town and would take a couple days to get them.

I'm in the process of building a bigger coop now. Looks like I may have to go just a little bigger. Stay tuned...

Update. I called and the 24 chickens were still available! The lady's husband said he wanted to sell them to me because I was local. Cool! So I loaded up the coop (with the chickens inside) onto my trailer and brought them home. I built a run for them out of pallets (of course) and placed their coop at the entrance. I gave them some food and water and threw some scratch on the ground to encourage them to scratch at the ground for bugs. They seem to be happy. Their coop is elevated about 18" off the ground and has a ramp which they use to get in and out off the coop. When I opened their door to let them out into the run, Elvis and a few hens were watching through the fence at their new neighbors. It was funny to see them just standing there taking it all in. 

For those keeping score, that puts me at 41 birds. 

Here's the new coop (with 24 chickens inside) ready to be unloaded from the trailer. Just need one more strong dude to help me unload it.

Here's the new coop at the end of the new run. I was able to recycle the old run cover and use it here. The run's completely covered and the chickens can go under their coop to get out of the elements if they want.
Here are most of the new chickens enjoying being let out of their coop and exploring the run. 
 This is one of the 2 roosters we got. He's HUGE. He is a Blue Cochin and is extremely fluffy. The towers over all the other chickens by almost 1/2 a hen! I'm not sure what to name him yet. I was thinking "Mr. Fluffy Pants", but I think i want to see what his personality is like. 

There is a 12 step program for this condition. It goes like this:

Step 1. Admit that you have a problem.
Step 2. Let the enablers (those that introduce you to new breeds of chickens you don't have yet),  know that you have a problem.
Step 3....Purchase those new breeds of chicks from step 2.
Step 4....Deal with the crowding situation in your coop.
Step 5. Admit you have a problem.
Step 6. Build a larger than necessary coop so you have room to buy more chicks.
Step 7. Buy more chicks.
Step 8. Invest in an incubator to start hatching your own chicks (claim this on your income tax under Health Care - it saved your life).
Step 9. Clear a room in your house to keep incubators, brooders, etc. you'll need the space.
Step 10.Add on to your coop and assure wife its only an addition (until the eggs hatch).
Step 11. Move to more acreage so your chickens will have more room (no other reason nec.).
Step 12.   See step 1.

I think I may go into the egg selling business...

Since writing this (it has been a work in progress), I have merged the two flocks into 1 in a bigger & coop. There was the typical pecking orderfighting but nobody was hurt thankfully. I lost 1 hen mysteriously over the summer and had 4 baby chicks hatch. My total is now 44.
I had an egg customer of mine inquire about where to buy a couple hens and I ended up selling her 2 of mine. It felt strange to let 2 hens go. I raised these hens and took care of them and it was really hard to let them go. I won't be selling anyomre.
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