Chicken Newbie


In the Brooder
5 Years
Oct 13, 2014
Port Orchard
Hello BYC!

My family just moved to Port Orchard and we were excited to learn that we could have chickens in our backyard. Our previous home didn't allow it unless you lived many many miles outside the city. For us this will be an exciting new adventure to learn and grow from.

I would like to thank everyone for posting tips and advise for all those newbies like myself who will be soaking up the knowledge on this website. At the moment I am doing the research on what we need to do to get started (how to build a coop, purchasing chicks, etc.). Any info or recommendation would be welcomed and appreciated.




5 Years
Jul 17, 2014
Hello and Welcome!!!!!!!! I've had my chickens only for a couple months, but i've learned so much from this website!!!!

Is there anything you would specifically like to know? I find it's fun to start out with chicks rather than pullets, so you can see them grow. I got mine from a feed bin, and they were very healthy chicks. What breed are you interested in? I have 1 silver laced wyndadotte, 1 I don't know the breed of yet, 1 Black Jersey Giant, and 3 silkies.

Do you live on a ranch, or no. If no, I would reccomend getting a larger sized coop so that your chickens will have more space to run around if you can't free range them all the time. Tommorrow I'll see if I can upload a picture of mine:)


In the Brooder
5 Years
Oct 11, 2014

Welcome :)

I am a newbie too. I have found that checking out all the possible links in this website has led me to some great information. So in regards to your questions, I would look around the forums and you will find heaps of information! This link has some coop designs..


6 Years
Dec 10, 2013
Welcome to BYC!! Lots of people I know have had luck with McMurray Hatchery. I personally decided to find a small hatchery close by so that I could pick up my chicks instead of having them shipped. But the McMurray website has been very helpful. They have the characteristic of different breeds listed so you can research which chickens are good layers, what size and color eggs they lay, which breeds tend to go broody, etc. It gave me a good idea of which breeds would suit my needs. I needed heat tolerant egg layers. Now I'm ready to find some hens that tend to get broody so I can grow my flock. The coop is easy. You can go as plain or fancy as you want. Just make sure you have good ventilation. I just built an 8x4 coop with a slanted roof with windows on 3 sides for good air flow covered in mesh to keep predators out. I put my nesting boxes on one end with a little door to access the eggs. And don't forget plenty of roosting space. My chickens seem to prefer 2x4 (4 inch side up) roosts instead round roosts. I think it helps them keep their feet warmer in winter. They get on the roost and sit right down so their feathers cover their toes. The ramp comes out into a nice spacious run where I keep the water and food. When you build your coop make sure you have easy access to clean it or it will turn into a terrible and dreaded chore. When I need advice I make a beeline to BYC. Good luck in your new adventure!

Mountain Peeps

Jesus is my life
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Apr 23, 2014
My Coop
My Coop
Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

The best place to start would be the learning center.

Our coop section is very helpful too.

Here is a link on things to consider before getting chickens.

Once you start thinking about breeds I would recommend the buff orpington. They are sweet, affectionate, lap hogs, great layers and cold hardy.

Best of luck!


In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 19, 2014
Welcome to BYC! I am new to this site and have found everyone to be so friendly and helpful. We are all eager to share the our experience and love of all things fowl.
Enjoy yourself!

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
Out to pasture
Welcome to the flock. If you go to "where am I, where are you," in the social forum you can locate and post on your state thread. That way you can find out what others do to handle the seasons, which breeds do best for them, where to buy, the best feed store etc. You may even make a few neighborhood friends.

Michael OShay

5 Years
May 14, 2014
Welcome to BYC, Patty. Glad you decided to join our flock. The best breed for you depends on what you are looking for in a chicken. If sheer egg production is your main priority, then I would recommend Black Sex Links (Black Stars) as they are hardy, friendly, egg laying machines. I've raised them for years (along with dozens of other breeds and hybrids) and they have been my best layers, consistently churning out over 300 eggs per hen per year. If you are looking for very friendly and gentle birds, I would recommend Australorps, Orpingtons, Cochins, Sussex, or Brahmas. All of these breeds have a well deserved reputation for being calm and gentle. Australorps are the best layers on this list and Cochins are the poorest layers (although they are the best brooders and mothers). You can research these breeds with some good quick reference charts at,, and Also Murray McMurray has an excellent "chick selector" tool at to help you select the best breeds for your purposes. Just be sure and click on "show more characteristics." As far as hatcheries go, I've ordered multiple times from 4 different ones; Dunlap Hatchery (, Murray McMurray Hatchery (, Ideal Poultry (, and Cackle Hatchery ( I've never lost more than 1 or 2 chicks from any of them in shipping (none ever from Dunlap), and since they always put 2 or 3 extra in the box, I've always gotten what I've paid for. I've been happy with the birds and service of all four of them, but Dunlap is my favorite of the four. It is smaller than the other three, but the folks at Dunlap are very friendly and helpful, and it happens to be closest one to your home, which means less traveling distance for any chicks you order from them. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck in getting your flock.


Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
Welcome to BYC
Glad you joined the flock! I'd recommend starting with the Learning Center. You'll find articles there with tips on how to choose a breed, how big to build the coop, how to keep the flock healthy, what to feed them (and not) and much more. Enjoy!

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