New from Oregon- the sunny side

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by dirtcandy, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. dirtcandy

    dirtcandy New Egg

    Aug 17, 2013
    redmond, oregon
    Hello everyone,

    I'm new to this site and chickens- I haven't even gotten them yet! I'm in the process of working on the coop and run right now and am doing lots of research on breeds. I don't want just any chick from a hatchery or big box stores so I'm hoping to find some local breeders.

    I'm in Redmond, OR and I'm a gardener- needed some chief soil ammenders/insect connoisseurs, hence getting chickens! I grow year round here in this tough, cold climate in unheated high tunnels- so I'll have lots of greens year round for them.

    I'm trying to decide what breeds. I found a coop on Craigslist- it's 3x6 in the inside- with the next boxes sticking out for easy access to the eggs. So I plan on 6 hens, 3sq.ft/bird. I'd like hens that are no more than 6.5lbs because of the size and shape of the coop. They'll have about 500 sq.ft run that is inside a 6' tall fence and I'll attempt to free range them (part time) other times they'll have a chunnel to get to areas I want them in.

    The breeds I'm considering are-

    Wyandotte (not sure on this one, I'm getting mixed opinions on aggressiveness and being broody)
    and Welsummer

    if no on the wyandotte I'm thinking of RIRs but I've read their combs can be subject to frostbite- not good for here, but my neighbor has some and they seem fine. My neighbor also has a Welsummer and she is a trouble maker they got for free- not a common trait in that breed, from what I've read. The Wyandottes are beautiful but I've read some being aggressive towards other chickens and aloof towards humans- not something I would want as I have small dogs.

    Here is my list of what I need/want

    Docile- not aggressive toward other chickens or humans- easily held
    no more than 6.5 lbs for comfort in the coop
    hardy to cold temps- heat tolerant would be good as well
    would like some colorful eggs and very dark brown too
    non-flighty. I have an area off the deck (inside the yard) that will be challenging to fence so it may be no more than 4' tall.
    Local breeders- I don't like the idea of birds shipping to me- any thoughts on that?
    not known to be broody
    good layer (high count) and good sized eggs

    I think that's it! Boy, I don't ask for much!

    Any help would be great- glad to be here!

    Tessa (aka dirtcandy)
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined us! [​IMG]
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG]first off the coop size would be too small for 6 hens, they need 4 square feet per bird inside, and a outdoor run space of 10 sq.feet per bird. If they will be stuck inside a lot during bad weather they should have a larger coop - when chickens are too crowded they get on each others nerves and start pecking,feather picking and other bad habits.

    The best way to find what you want for your climate etc. would be to go to "where am I, where are you," sub forum to locate and post on your state thread. All chickens will do some amount of bickering and maybe feather picking because that is their nature. If they are happy , well fed, and have enough space usually fighting is at a minimum once pecking order is established.
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Happy you joined!
  5. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas and [​IMG]! Great to have you with us! The others above have given you some great advice!
  6. dirtcandy

    dirtcandy New Egg

    Aug 17, 2013
    redmond, oregon
    Thanks for the warm welcome. I've been following this site's forums for a while now, and I've joined a local fb poultry group to get help for my area. I did post in my state's thread too, by the way. I've gotten such mixed advice, it's incredible. I've done a lot of research, asking locals lots of questions, going to chicken tours, and I take care of my neighbor's chickens A Lot as they leave for a week at a time often. I've learned what I'd do different from that too.

    It's funny, for every person that has told me 4sq.ft/bird I'll talk to just as many that say they go as small as 2sq.ft/bird depending on the run. I found a coop on craigslist that was said to be 4x6- when I got it it ended up being only 3x6 inside the coop- as the nesting boxes protrude outside the main frame- there are a lot of those designs out there. The nesting boxes were much too high, in my opinion, for the space they'd have getting down- so I lowered them to 18" off the floor. My run area is about 500 sq.ft. and I plan on creating a roof over some of that for protection- There is also a 6x8 shed in their run that, if necessary, I can create a nice place for them if I see fighting, etc. I didn't convert that to a coop as the ceiling is lower than I'd like- not sure why the previous owners thought that was a good idea and I'm only 5'4" and have to bend slightly when inside- not something that can't be fixed I'm sure. One of the local ladies told me that with that coop size, if I get calm, smaller birds and have a covered area outside in the run I could have as many as 9 as she uses the rule of thumb of 3sq.ft/bird in addition to how the run is set up- that was extreme to me- so what I did instead is decide to create a covered area in the run, make the shed a standby if needed, and use the 3sq.ft/bird rule. Another thing to consider is whether or not they'll have access to a larger area- I have a very large yard and a 1/4 acre next to it. I have 2 small, unheated hightunnels that I grow in year round (yes, here in a zone 5) within my fenced yard- my plan is to try to free range them at least part time- my yard is hilly, with natural raised beds with large rocks around them and a small water feature- plenty to keep them happy (we'll see how free ranging goes considering my plants! Luckily, I live in 4 season area- so part of the year there is not a lot growing- at least until I get more perennial veggies in) I also plan on putting a chunnel that will lead to the field next to the yard, eventually.

    So- is 6 chickens still the rule here...? Drumstick Diva? The best advice I have gotten was that each flock has it's own dynamic, each coop and run is different, climate and situation must be taken into account before a hard and fast set rule can be applied...I did my research, and will continue to do more on here and other sites and of course local groups. If I get 6 chickens and have issues I have a back-up plan. Maybe I should have included this info in my original post?

    I was told by a friend that new comers to this site and it's forums are not treated well- some members behaving as if they were born knowing how to raise backyard chickens, I've not seen this mistreatment on here, but it wouldn't surprise me as there are sooo many members- from all over. I also take into consideration that text is about the worst form of communication there is, probably, and as such it's easily misconstrued. So your welcoming posts are a relief :)

    Thanks again,


    PS- not sure why my text of 3sq.ft/bird, etc. turns into a link, weird.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013

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