Washington Newbies

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by bajabirdbrain, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. bajabirdbrain

    bajabirdbrain Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2016
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Hello, all. We are located on Whidbey Island, WA and are planning on joining the ranks of chicken owners this spring. For the past couple of years my wife has taken care of our neighbor's 4 chickens when he went on vacations. This has become a daily activity as she makes them breakfast daily, cleans the coop, lets them out for some exercise and generally watches out for them. Don't know how much we have spent on our neighbor's chickens, but with "treat", better fencing, heated water dish, new bedding material, etc, we have taken over most of the responsibility of the girls with no ownership.

    For the past 2 years we have gone on the 4H Chicken Coop Tour of Whidbey Island and have seen some really neat coops/runs. After much anguishing we have decided to jump in and start our own family. Plans are to clear a location for the chickens soon, will need some fill and then we will level and construct a coop and run suitable for maybe 8 chickens. We plan on having the area completely secured against predators. My wife has researched things pretty well, books, internet, and talking to others. She has tentatively decided on buff orpingtons, black australorp, wyandotte, rhode island or new hampshire reds, and barred rocks for her breeds. Nothing set in stone, YET!

    We don't know where we will buy our chicks, we do not want roosters, these are for eggs and pets, NO MEAT! Today I bought a thrift store aquarium and some wheat bran, the first step in raising meal worms for the girls. Do you think this is putting the cart before the horse??

    We are sure that help and advice will be sought and appreciated. This site is a treasure trove of information, a bit daunting to negotiate, but will undoubtedly very valuable for us in our efforts.

    So, we are looking forward to spring, some warmer weather and a new adventure!! TBC BB
    1 person likes this.
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - great that you have joined us. There's lots of info here on BYC - most great, some no so. My advice would be to read, ask questions and take any advice onboard, as long as you feel comfortable in doing so. If you are planning for keeping 8 chickens, build a coop and run that will house more - chicken maths will get you in the end. And no, you are not putting the cart before the horse - the more prepared you are, the easier and more enjoyable your chicken-keeping experience will be.

    You'll find lots of info in the Learning Centre - https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center and if you have a specific topic in mind, just type it in the search box - there's a wealth of information on past and present threads.

    You may wish to consider joining your state thread as it will put you in touch with other BYC members in your area - https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/26/where-am-i-where-are-you

    All the best
  3. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2015
    Walla Walla WA
    Welcome! There is a Washington State thread and I'm sure there are others from your town on that thread.
  4. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under bajabirdbrain [​IMG] Welcome!

    How exciting! I read often that new members are getting their chickens in Spring and I envy you your patience. I guess I am lucky in that we do not really have a winter and chickens can pretty well be got any time of year.

    I confess to being lazy and purchasing my gals live mealworms from a supplier who provides overnight delivery. I have toyed with the idea of raising my own but while I am not rich, I am more time poor than finance poor and I really do not need more critters to take care of [​IMG]

    If you do find you have a glut of worms, you can feed them to your neighbour’s chickens and/or the wild birds. I have a Magpie who visits daily for his treat of a couple of meal worms.

    I hope you enjoy BYC. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    You can never be too prepared to start a new venture. When planning site for coop and runs (?) aside from leveling off the ground, it would be good to add sand and some pea gravel into the mix to aid in drainage. I know WA. can have a lot of rain and cloudy days.

    I see the wife gets her breeds. Are you allowed to choose any? Generally chicks bought at the same time and raised together will do well. Introducing new birds to older established flock requires the finesse of careful integration.
  6. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    All that time spent with your neighbor's flock is good training for handling your own. If you have questions, always feel free to ask.

    Good luck and have fun!
  7. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Howdy from Kansas, bajabirdbrain, and :welcome! Great to have you in our flock! Best wishes and thanks for joining BYC! :)
  8. bajabirdbrain

    bajabirdbrain Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2016
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Thanks for all the well wishes. We have been trying to read all the posts on the pages, now 25, of the Spring of 2017 Newbies Post thread, whew. Lots and lots of info and interesting stuff. Not sure where we should post our efforts as they unfold? Since my initial post above, we have been plotting, planning, and actually doing a bit of work. We bought an electric heating pad for our brooder(design is about complete) and will try and construct it this week. Meal worms are doing well, amazing how much they can eat!

    We spent one day cutting the limbs off of trees that were blocking the sight line to our proposed coop/run location. Tough work and a bit scary using a chainsaw to cut limbs over one's head while balancing on a ladder. Yesterday afternoon we had a nice slash burn and got rid of about half of the debris. Waiting for another calm day to finish things off. Next will be laying out the perimeter of the coop/run and installing a leveling course of hardware cloth under crushed rock with some kind of pavers on top for the fencing and posts.

    Now trying to nail down how many chicks we want and can handle, then the type of coop, followed by picking a delivery date in a few months. Looks like Meyer will be our source unless something changes our minds. IF delivery before April 1st we think a friend will take the extra chicks because 15 is just too many.

    That is it for now. BB
  9. 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.
  10. bajabirdbrain

    bajabirdbrain Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2016
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Yes, this is an amazing site, lots of good info and very active users. Looking forward to reporting our progress. BB

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