Starting My First Backyard Flock!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Ashley Pederson, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. Ashley Pederson

    Ashley Pederson In the Brooder

    Dec 22, 2014
    Portland, OR
    Hello! My name is Ashley and I am from Portland, OR.

    (1) Are you new to chickens / when did you first get chickens?
    I have not yet had chickens! My husband and I are doing all the research we can before starting our first flock this Spring. We are hoping to get our baby chicks sometimes within the next 4-8 weeks depending on the shipments to our favorite local feed store (Urban Farm Store, 34th and Powell Blvd)

    (2) How many chickens do you have right now?
    We do not yet have any chickens, although the number for us to start our flock with is currently our biggest question that we can't seem to find an answer to. We would love some input! We are a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 small children) and eat an average amount of eggs. We would also like to have enough eggs to give to my parents who live nearby and want to "invest" some start up money into our flock.

    (3) What breeds do you have?
    After doing our research, the breeds we would like to have (in order) are Brahmas, Sussex, Rhode Island Red,Wyandotte, and Plymouth Rock. From what we've read, these breeds would do well in the temperate climate in Portland, lay a decent amount of eggs and are known for their tendencies to like human interaction when socialized from a chick. It's really important to us that the hens are not terrified or aggressive with our daughters. I have also been hearing a lot of positive comments on Sex-Links, although I would appreciate a bit more info if anyone wants to give it :)

    (4) How did you find out about
    I found it in the resource section in A Chicken In Every Yard, written by the owners of our local Urban Farm Store. I bought the book hoping it would be everything I could hope for in a book about raising chickens in my backyard since it would be tailored to the city I live in... I was not disappointed! A great read with a ton of information!

    (5) What are some of your other hobbies?
    I am a Stay At Home mom of two small girls, so I do not have a lot of free time for hobbies at the moment. I do like to read and craft (knitting, crocheting, sewing, cross-stitch) when I get a spare second.

    (6) Tell us about your family, your other pets, your occupation, or anything else you'd like to share.
    My husband and I recently bought our first house and were lucky enough to have a large backyard with a chicken run already in the backyard! There is an adjoining covered structure that we will use to build our chicken coop into to provide a bit of extra shelter from the rain. We figured now is the perfect time to start our flock! Our daughters, ages 1 and 3.5, have been around dogs and cats their entire life. We have been raising them to know how to care for and respect their animals, knowing that these early life lessons can be invaluable later in life.
    On our walks to different parks around Portland, we began noticing CHICKENS in yards in inner SE Portland! My daughter (2 at the time) and I were completely surprised and delighted, quickly making a regular route past as many chicken flocks as we could to the parks. At the time, we did not have the space for a flock of our own and didn't want to hassle convincing our landlady, so we had to make due admiring the chickens from afar. We are super excited to be able to start a flock of our own, especially now that our youngest is walking on her own and able to tag along in the yard!

    Sorry for the life story!

    My major question that can hopefully be answered before we are ready to purchase our chicks is "How many chickens would you recommend for a starter flock that will provide enough eggs for 4 adults and 2 children?"

    Thank you so much!
  2. Ashley Pederson

    Ashley Pederson In the Brooder

    Dec 22, 2014
    Portland, OR
    I forgot to mention when listing the breeds we are interested in that we want a mixed flock. We will probably only have one of each breed that we decide on to see how we like the breed. We may supplement the flock with more of a favorite, or continue to have an extremely mixed flock. We have read a lot of positive things about keeping it mixed and it provides a much more interesting group to watch!
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    I would definitely recommend the Wyandotte as a breed to start with. I have greatly enjoyed mine. Mine have been very good layers of 250+ eggs per year, docile sweet birds that enjoy human interaction, and have had the most inquisitive and entertaining personalities of all my birds.
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Some good egg layers that are docile and friendly and hardy are Wyandottes, Buff Orptingtons, Black Australorps, Barred Rocks, Sussex, Rhode Island Reds to name a few. I am a big fan of the Orpingtons...Buff Orps and Black Australorps. Super friendly lap sitters and are great on the laying as well. Winter hardy too.

    Good luck with what ever breed you choose and welcome to our flock!
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC, Ashley. I'm glad you decided to join our flock. You have a very good and thorough introduction. Raising chickens is a wonderful experience for children. My granddaughter (pictured in my avatar) loves our chickens. :eek:) If eggs are your main priority, I would suggest Black Sex Links. They are hardy and friendly egg laying machines. I've raised them for years (along with dozens of other breeds), and they have been my best layers, consistently churning out more than 300 eggs per hen per year. I've had all the breeds mentioned on your list at one time or another, and my favorites on your list are the Brahmas and Sussex, due to their very friendly, calm, and gentle temperaments (great breeds for children). Another breed you should consider are Black Australorps, which are extremely hardy, calm and gentle (my children, and now my granddaughter, made lap pets of them), and the best layers of the standard, brown egg laying breeds (sex links are hybrids and not true breeds). 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.
  6. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    So glad you joined the flock [​IMG]
  8. ChickenLady2014

    ChickenLady2014 Crossing the Road

    Jan 7, 2014
    Welcome to BYC & flock. I agree with everyone on the breeds listed. I have mamy of those breeds and I also have Isa Browns that are gentle and wonderful layers. I get a large brown egg everyday from them.
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!

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