Greetings from Silverdale, WA! Ready to get started!

StevenMNielson

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 7, 2010
48
0
22
Silverdale, WA
Greetings all! What a great resource this website has been thus far! I am slowly looking for ways to be more 'earth centric' in my daily live, and in that of my family's... and what better way than to create your own manure and compost, provide your own eggs, control pests and weeds, and bond with the family than with the introduction of some great new pets! My daughter is thrilled at the opportunity to own chickens - my wife, well, she is coming around to the idea!

For now I am converting a shed into a coop and have a 17' x 7' section of land next to the shed to build a run. I've looked at all the coops and runs on the site to put together some great ideas, and to understand more about what the basic needs are of the coop lay-out.

What I don't know is about letting the chickens out into the back yard. We have a fully fenced 6' fence back yard around about 2/10 of an acre. Can we free range without the chickens jumping the fence?

Also, I am not sure about the size of the flock. Is two birds too few? I was trying to convince my wife of 4, but two seems to be an easier number for her to come along with... also, we are looking to buy year old hens to get started - again, to show my wife how much fun we can have by adding these new 'pets with perks'.

Any pointers would be great... and thanks for welcoming me in. Feels like a cozy family here at BYC... Glad I can be part of it!

Cheers!

Steven M Nielson, wife Gretchen, daughter Sawyer.
 

TheReidHomestead

Never enough coops...
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
2,479
12
221
Monroe, WA
My Coop
My Coop
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from a fellow Washingtonian!!!

Most birds won't fly over the 6 ft fence, but beware that hawks, eagles etc, will fly down into the yard if they are in your area. It is best to have a covered run that they can hang out in during the day when you are not home.

Sure, start with 2.
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It won't last long....they are very addicting!!!!

Tamara
 

Gonzo

Songster
10 Years
May 25, 2009
3,718
14
201
Southwestern, In
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from Indiana! Good for you! My chickens have jumped our fence before, and its like yours. They're breeds that arn'y susposed to be flighty too.

With two chickens, depending on the breed you can expect about 8 eggs a week, give or take an egg. We have about a quarter of an acre (mainly backyard) and we have 30 chickens and still have room for a garden. pool firepit, and our dogs. The Chickens have alot of room themselves and are very happy. Check into the 4H for your daughter, my kids Love it!
 

StevenMNielson

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 7, 2010
48
0
22
Silverdale, WA
4HPM & Gonzo -

Thanks for the greetings! The run, once complete, will be fully enclosed at about 16x6, which should be plenty for two ladies. I guess I will learn about letting them free range, and only allow it while we can provide a watchful eye!

I'm looking into getting two RIR year old hens to help ease into the lifestyle. I am sure many have their favorites, but the RIR seems to be a common and mild mannered bird.

My daughter, who is two, is already helping with the coop and excitedly reporting that "we're building chicken house!"...

Thanks again!

Cheers!
 

Darlasmum

Songster
10 Years
Aug 2, 2009
906
2
159
La Crescenta, CA
Go for getting four! Once you get chickens you'll wish you had more. I also encourage you to get chicks- handle them often and then they are so friendly. Your daughter will love handling them and they will grow up w/ nice manners. good luck!
 

Imp

All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle
11 Years
Sep 7, 2008
14,453
175
318
The Emerald City
My Coop
My Coop
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from a neighbor in Renton

I've never had a chicken fly over my 5 ft fence, but they have wiggled under.

OK I'm gonna walk the line and say I always get chickens in groups of three. I worry that if I get 2, if something happens 1 will be left alone.

My chickens free range all day every day without supervision. There is a very real risk, but it really comes down to a personal choice. I have not had a predator problem in about 6 years. I'm in a very suburban neighborhood.

Congrats on joining us and come over to the Washingtonians thread in the Where are you forum and intro yourself there as well. We're a pretty friendly lot.

Imp
 

4-H chicken mom

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 3, 2007
17,491
170
431
Oberlin, OH
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and
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from Ohio. Glad to meet you! I agree, hawks know when no one is around and take advantage.


Quote:
Chickens are like chips, you can't stop at just a couple.
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b.hromada

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jan 9, 2009
15,711
928
461
south Florida, Pompano Beach
Hello Steven and family!
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from S. Florida! Its great to have you here with us!
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Two should be your minimum. Chickens are flock animals, and love to be around others. I bet, once your wife sees just how much fun it is to raise chicks, she'll come around!
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Most people do. Heck, even my hubby likes my girls, although, he won't readily admit it!
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Most of all enjoy yourselves.
 

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