Some time ago my husband, Ben, wanted chickens. I thought “Chickens??? – we already have two dogs, two rabbits, some kakarikies (parakeets) and I was taking care of them, not Ben. I thought “what are we going to do with chickens – I want nothing to do with it”. But Ben kept on saying he wanted chickens!
After a while I was talking about it with a colleague of mine, when a customer who had been listening to our discussion said “I have 200 chickens and you can have a few for free!!” He wrote his address and number on a paper and gave it to me; I said I would call him as soon as everything was ready. After a few weeks this man called my workplace and asked the receptionist “where is this girl who wanted some chickens – when is she coming to fetch them”? I contacted Ben and we agreed we would pick them up the next Saturday.
The farmer’s chickens were free-range in a large orchard and took care of themselves, roosting in a high tree at night. The farmer enticed some chicks to the barn and locked them in for us, but now we had to catch them! Or better – Ben had to catch them, and what a task that was – they were so hysterical, we were worried for them. Finally they were caught and placed in a box. To be honest, we did not see what the birds looked like, so it was a big surprise when we got home. We put them into the chicken coop with my rooster and all hell broke loose again. I was thinking “Oh my God, what have we done?”
One week later I saw a book called “Chicken-encyclopedia”. I bought it and started reading it…. I read about care, illness and diseases and other subjecs and I came to the conclusion that we started very bad!! We totally did not know how to take care of those chickens! But from that moment I decided that must change! After a week the chickens were so tame, that they were eating grass out of my hand! After a few weeks we made the coop a little bigger, because I was thinking it was much to small for them…
Totally excited we brought them home with us. More and more I found out that the orpingtonbantams were the exact chickens for us and I did not like it that the welsumers seem to need more space, cause they were used to it! I made an advertisement on a marketplace that I was having welsumers for free and that people with a lot of space could get them! The same evening I got a call of a boy in our village that he really wanted to have them. We brought the chickens to his house by car and when we saw their new home, we left them there with very good feelings. They would live in paradise there!!! The baby-chickens went to our neighbours and we started to breed with: ORPINGTONS!