New to chickens - what do you think?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Debo's Chickens, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. Debo's Chickens

    Debo's Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2008
    Everett, WA
    Hi Everyone - I'm brand new here! I've decided to start a small backyard flock of chickens for egg laying. I live in suburban Everett, WA, outside of Seattle. I have a small 2 bedroom home on a 1/4 acre lot w/ a fully fenced back yard.

    I'd like to discuss my plans so far & see if anyone has any suggestions or comments.

    I want to start out w/ 3 pullets. The breeds that I like that are readily available to me are Rhode Island Red, Silver Laced Wyndote & Black Australorp. Any problem w/ having one of each?

    I found someone local on craigslist that makes coops & supplies chickens, feed & other supplies: http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/grd/803035666.html
    The
    coop pictured in the link is the one I want to get. It is 3'x4'x5' tall. I'm not going to get the run right away - I'm hoping that eventually they will just be able to free range in my backyard, but I will probably just build some kind of movable enclosure for the time being. I want to put it on the east facing fence in my backyard. This is the location, to the right of the raspberry bushes (I have to clear out some of the cinder blocks & vegetation):
    [​IMG]

    I plan on getting the book "Living w/ Chickens" by Jay Rossier for my basic reference. Is this a good choice or is there a better book to get?

    Any questions, comments or concerns are most welcome!
    Thanks for having me [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
  2. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    West Michigan
    First of all, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    My question is...

    Did you check the zoning regulations for your area before planning to get chickens? The reason I ask is because it looks like you live in a semi-urban neighborhood. I wouldn't want you to get in trouble for having chickens.
     
  3. Debo's Chickens

    Debo's Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Yes, I have. In Everett city limits you can have up to 5 hens, but no roosters. I want to start out w/ 3 hens, & maybe get a couple more next year, depending on how it goes.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    If you think you may want to expand to 5, I would strongly suggest getting a larger coop to start with. The one in the picture is ok for 3 but 5 are going to be *real* crowded in there - maybe you can get away with it but maybe not, you know what I mean? Something more along the lines of 4x6' area would be a safer bet.

    No problem at all in having one of each - it'll simplify things b/c there will be no difficulty telling 'em apart and indeed you may even be able to tell their eggs apart once you get used to them (moreso than if they were all the same breed, anyhow).

    Good luck and have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Keep Chickens! Tending Small Flocks in Cities, suburbs, and Other Small Spaces by Barbara Kilarski. The author keeps a flock in the city of Portland, OR. Her book is wonderful for anyone keeping a small flock.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    To be honest, I found that book wonderfully inspiring and encouraging [​IMG] but unfortunately also terribly short on USEFUL information. I haven't read the Rossier book yet but it can't possibly have a lot less in the way of practical specifics, I would think probalby more.

    Just one opinion,

    Pat
     
  7. Debo's Chickens

    Debo's Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2008
    Everett, WA
    Thanks for the replies so far!

    Pat: do you think the coop would be too small for 5 chickens, even if they get to roam around the yard during the day?
     
  8. TerrasCritters

    TerrasCritters In a new coop

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    Oct 24, 2007
    You should have no problem with one of each variety.

    As for the pen, it would be big enough for 3 or maybe even 5 if they are only in there to sleep and eat and lay, and free range in your yard during the days.

    But ASAP get them a yard built on it, winter is coming and the birds dont seem to do very well in all this rain we get!

    Have you ever considered building something like this yourself? It just might be a bit cheaper for you. But if thats not an issue it is so much easier to just buy one already set up for you! They are super cute I have seen this ad before. Good luck!

    Oh and be ready to egg hunt like easter! They sometimes will find area's in the yard to lay until they get used to laying in there nest boxes in the coops!
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    All I'm saying is, I wouldn't do it by choice. The less space, the more you're risking problems that can be hard to fix such as the birds starting to disassemble each other. Remember they're not always going to WANT to spend the day roaming the yard (i.e., rainy spells) and what happens if the free range thing ends up not working out for you (or at least not full-time). It is easier to buy/build a slightly larger coop from square one than it is to decide yours is 30% too small - can't easily add on to 'em.

    But it's a personal choice <shrug> and certainly there are some people in some climates who have less space than that for their birds and have not thus far suffered much in the way of problems. Depends how much you like gambling.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  10. Debo's Chickens

    Debo's Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2008
    Everett, WA
    Ok, thanks Terra & Pat. I didn't think (or know) about the fact that the chickens wouldn't want to be outside all day in the rain, but it makes sense!

    This guy makes a larger coop that is 4'x4', so I could think about that, or just limit myself to 3 hens. Believe me, if I could make it myself, I would! But I'm not constructionally (that's not a word!) inclined & I don't want to wait around for the bf to get in the mood to do it. He's all for the chickens, as long as he doesn't have to do any work!

    So, I'll think about it.
     

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