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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am from dallas, tx. I am about to work on a degree in animal science pre vet. I am hoping to focus on sheep, cows, horses and poultry. I would like to be the country vet with a nice small ranch. I am about to keep my own small backyard flock but i'm a 4th generation chicken keeper. My family keeps larger chicken flocks than I want right now. I'm starting out with 3 and I'm adjusting to my eating habits of eggs.

I am a former military medic. I understand basic surgical procedures and have a lot of experience with wound care and the human version of bumble foot surgery. I had minor diagnostic capability as well as a military medic.

I was also a nursing student but it didn't work out. I didn't like dealing with some of the patients I got and ended up hating it. It required a lot of patience in some areas I didn't have. It was mostly the dementia patients I didn't like dealing with. I mostly hate repeating myself and trying to convince someone it's not 2040 and they can't go on a hover craft and fly.

I view chickens as livestock not pets. I believe that taking a chicken to a vet is the chicken owner's personal choice but I would prefer not to if possible and self doctor the best I can. I would call the USDA if I suspected I had a serious suspicious death tho (Newcastle's or avian flu not coyote attack).

I believe in vaccination and clean coop practices. The cleaner the coop the better. I love PVC as a material because it's easy to clean and work with. I love hardware cloth because of how predator proof it is on siding compared to chicken wire. I try to make everything easy to clean. I try to make almost everything be able to pass a commercial germ test and maintain good flock health with preventive measures.

I am going to use an automatic PVC watering system in the summer but my power isn't stable in the winter so to prevent my pipes from freezing I'll use a heated nipple bucket and have a small battery back up set up if the power goes out. I rather the bucket freeze than my pipes.

The back up is a rubber 3 gallon bucket with an aquarium back up aerator with a plastic plate cover to keep debris out. It isn't meant to be long term and it would be changed every couple hours. I could get away with longer but I prefer a lot of leeway. It's in case of an ice storm.

My feeder is a metal treadle feeder. I have a massive squirrel problem because of a pecan tree I can't get rid of. So my goal is to keep squirrels, rats and wild birds out of the food.

My coop is an A frame tractor with an open floor. I am buying it from a local farmer. I am buying it because I have a neck injury right now but it's gonna get better according to the doctors. My coop is 16 sq feet for 3 chickens. I can keep a max of 4 where I am now (land per bird ratio to keep flock health). I plan to move one day to a bigger area, when me and my husband graduate. I will probably keep a bigger flock then (20+ like the rest of my family) but a small flock will suit me fine now and help with my degree. It will probably be repurposed to a brooder coop when I move someday (it's a pipe dream).

I am building a covered PVC box run. I am using pvc, zip ties, green house roofing, PVC cement. I am going to make it have hinged doors out of PVC for easy access and to be able to connect to my coop. It's 7x7x3. It's meant to be hawk proof. I am going to secure it with garden stakes.

I like friendly birds. I hate RIR (bad experience) or any aggressive and or flighty bird. I want a bird that is easy to deal with. Of the birds my family has, I love the Orpington. I am going to get 3 of it's smaller more productive cousin the Australorp. I want a bird that lays eggs mostly and is fairly hardy in most types of weather. I am picking the Australorp because I hear it is also more feed efficient compared to the Orpington.

My major predators are Hawks and my dog Jedi. I have 2 dogs. 1 dog loves chickens and would guard them with her life the other not so much. They are both border collies. My others include coyotes, snakes and other dogs. But no raccoon, possum or skunks, they got eaten by the coyotes. But my rodent control has to be strict because of the snakes.

I am getting started pullets from a reputable breeder because they can vaccinate, they are more cost effective by a 4x for the amount I want, I can see the birds personality and baby chicks are fragile and a lot of work. I am hoping to do this soon because of the weather is getting to the stable 70s soon.

I came here after a bad experience on a different forum. They just didn't seem friendly to put it nicely. They seemed more like a flaming group. I had a hard time finding a new forum and I am hoping for a helpful community that isn't very harsh. I almost gave up on chicken forums despite the fact I love the social aspect and the help.

I also didn't like their advice on some things. For example, non cold hardy chickens don't need any winterizing in a cold climate. This upset me because it would affect the health of the bird and cold injuries aren't fun.

Their coop sizes also seemed a little on the big side but that doesn't cause harm. I didn't like how if someone was on the 2 sq ft to 4 sq ft they would flame em and tell em it was way too small. I have a different view because it depends on the bird (size, breed, temperament, and climate).

I got flamed because I wasn't building my coop despite the fact I really can't right now without hurting myself.

I don't see any of the same flawed advice here so I am happy so far. I care about the health of the bird. Just because they are livestock doesn't mean they don't get the best care you can provide. I really hope this forum works out and after that bad experience I'm a little nervous. I was really sad when the other site didn't work out.

This is my opinion tho. I will keep the names and site anonymous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow. I think that was the most thorough introduction I've ever read. :)
Welcome aboard! I'm sorry you had a bad experience on the other site. (I think we all know who that is lol) There are some really nice folks here. :)
Yea my big fear is they cross all forums and with their innate flaws...

Just like I want a friendly chicken, I want a friendly forum.
 

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Wow, that was a thorough introduction. I know this is a friendly and informative forum. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be here since shortly after it came to be. The support here is wonderful. Welcome aboard. :)
 
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