New Accidental Chicken Lady in Washington State

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by missabrain, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. missabrain

    missabrain New Egg

    Feb 3, 2016
    Western Washington
    As all too often happens, as an animal lover, I sometimes end up with the animals no one wants.
    A little about me. I'm a pretty hardcore dog mom. I volunteer for a rescue that works with at risk dogs. I'm currently a student (Environmental Science Major) transferrring to UW in a few months. I'm married to a wonderful guy that grew up "on" his grandfathers farms and raised pigs in his Agriculture class in HS.

    Having chickens was not part of my immediate plan. But, long story short, my cousin bought 3 chicks from a feed store. (Here's where the real eye roll starts.) Within 12 hours she was over them. She didn't want them anymore and dropped them off with my mom. Well, she knew my husband wanted chickens someday anyway... so we ended up with 2 week old chicks that we weren't at all ready for.
    It's been a rough ride with a serious learning curve but I adore them. We recently lost one to what we are pretty sure was a raccoon. So we got them a new, super beefy, coop/run combo and installed motion sensor lights. I really hope it's enough. (I cried for hours the evening I found PantherLily. (It was stil daylight darn it!)

    Now that I have a coop I feel I can trust we are looking to add ~4 more chickens. (The coop is like 5 times bigger than the old one.) I can't wait to raise some new girls and add them to our tiny "flock." I hope Nora (bantam cochin) and Mabel (silkie) are as excited as I am.

    So any tips for a new gal?
    (I'm already learning so much and wish I had found this forum sooner!)
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and a very warm welcome to BYC - great to have you join us. I did Envi Sci at uni many moons ago - not that I'm a tree hugger you understand!

    Well, congrats on your rather premature little flock - sometimes its good to get thrown in at the deep end - experience is one hell of a good teacher! It seems like you have been doing a good job so far, so I'd suggest that you keep on reading and reading. Before you know it, you'll be an expert [​IMG]

    The learning centre is a good place to start, if you haven't already then check it out. Your state thread may be useful in terms of giving you a chance to meet members local to you - I'm sure they will be able to give you more specific advice on certain topics. Lastly, there's us - the members. We are all a friendly bunch, so don't feel shy in asking any questions!

    All the best
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    How big is your coop and run, and how old are they now? Two week old chicks need a heat source. Bantam breeds typically need about 1 to 2 sq ft of coop space and about 6 to 8 sq ft of run space per bird. Larger breeds need more, about 4 sq ft of coop space and 10 sq ft of run. Dual-purpose breeds need even more room than that.
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to Backyard chickens. I think it was a lucky accident that brought chickens to you. You are obviously well suited to be a chicken parent. You have my ok[​IMG].

    Please do visit the Learning center, it's the best place to start a chicken education. The Washington state thread is fast moving and furious, you have to jump in and hold on tight.

    Very nice group of folks.
  5. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    Sounds like those chicks ended up with a good home after all. I'm sorry for the one you lost, that's always hard.

    It's nice to have you here, good luck with your expanding flock!
  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  7. NickyKnack

    NickyKnack Love is Silkie soft!

    Welcome to BYC and the coop! There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to join the BYC family. I look forward to seeing you around BYC. Good luck with your chicken endeavors. :)
  8. missabrain

    missabrain New Egg

    Feb 3, 2016
    Western Washington
    Thank you for the wonderful welcome!
    Junebuggena- The girls are right around 5 months old (22 or 23 weeks according to the dates in my phone. (Though, I'm not totally sure on that since they were handed off without much info. Didn't even know what breed we had until I googled like a crazy person.) We still have the enclosure and heat lamp from when they were chicks to help if we do end up with young ones again. Though I'm hoping to get some that are a bit older. We will see. Their coop/run was special made for 6-8 fullsized chickens though we also like to give them freeroam of the garden for 4-5 hours in the afternoons. Do you find introductions, after quarentine of course, to be difficult?

    You all are so great. I'm still reading and feel like it never ends. It's like joining my dog breed forum back in the day... so much info! But so amazingly worth it. I'm glad to hear that the WA State boards are alive and well. :)
  9. Frindizzle

    Frindizzle Guitar Girl <3 Premium Member

    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined the flock!

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