How we started
In 2008 we moved to Gilman Wisconsin from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Gilman’s population is 410
Albuquerque’s population is 552,804
It was a big change from huge city to a small town farm.
When we moved here, I had no idea how to do any farming, I didn’t even know how to open the barn door LOL
The farm is on 180 acres, with a small house, big out buildings and a rustic looking chicken house.
Coming from the dessert and 2 acres, this place was so green. I remember we had to be quiet all the time because there were neighbors all over the place(in NM). When we moved here there were no close neighbors. My dad said you can run all over and make lot's of noise!
We got our 1st chickens in 2009 (Sex link breed of chickens). And had them for a few years.
In 2011 we got Special Black breed of chickens (that was the worst experience I ever had with chickens!)
My worst experience with chickens;
I had was with the Special Black chicken breed. The roosters were VERY mean, (and I had 5 roosters!) All of them were mean. (4 of the roosters we got from a hatchery and the 5th one we hatched)
And let him go free range because the older roosters, we mean to him.
Right about when he started to crow (I think it was 4-6 months old) when we came out of the house he would run at us and peck our feet. He was so mean we didn’t even want to come out of the house... Every time, I would go in the chicken house to feed them he would come out of no where and jump and fly at me.
Ok maybe not peck my eyes out. But it was pretty close. The chickens were really dumb to, they sometimes run in to walls for no reason, they were not mean to us but to each other.
One of them would be laying an egg and a chicken would come over and peck her in the head so she could have that nest box.
I had the Special Black breed for 3 long years and older they got the meaner and they got. I had the roosters for maybe a year. They just really had to go! I am not going to let some rooster peck me up because " I came at a bad time"
I sold most of the roosters and all the chickens on craigslist (but the meanest one when in the pot :)
After all that mess, in 2013 we were looking for a different breed of chicken and we found the Orpingtons, I loved everything about them, they are winter hardy & they should lay eggs in the winter.
The previous breeds we had stopped laying in the late fall and would just eat a lot of food all winter.
So the winter hardiness was a big plus. When we were looking to buy Orpington chicks. We found the Ameraucana’s at the same place that we were going to buy the Orpingtons (loved the idea that they lay colored eggs)