Washington Peninsula Hen Suggestions

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by LongRider, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. LongRider

    LongRider New Egg

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    Aug 31, 2010
    We are on the Washington Peninsula at the lower tip of Hood canal, in the foot hill to the Olympics, for those familiar with the area. For those that are not. The area has moderate climate. Rainy nine months of the year. It rarely gets below freezing in western Washington, snow is uncommon a quarter inch will shut Seattle down. However we are at 800 to 900 foot elevation and have been known to have weeks of snow three feet deep in the worst years. Most years we are like the rest of Western Washington and get no snow the entire year. Summer temperatures rarely exceed mid 90's.
    We are looking for low maintenance, hardy hens that will produce enough eggs for the two of us without a great deal of special attention beyond of basic care, feeding, predictor protection and clean shelter. We hope to free range them. Any suggestions for breeds that will meet our needs.
    Also local sources for good quality hens would be helpful as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  2. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    Enumclaw
    Most breeds of chickens thrive here in Western Washington. I haven't heard anyone say that they could keep a certain breed yet. So pick what you like, and what fits for your needs. It is easiest to just to start with chicks that are available from your local feed store. You can also attend auctions or watch craigslist for chickens. If you are looking for pure show quality then there are a number of breeders out on the peninsula, that we can hook you up with.
     
  3. LongRider

    LongRider New Egg

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    Quote:Thanks for the input Thats what I don't know. What best fits my needs. No show just eggs for two from a hardy chicken that does not require a lot of attention. So I suppose I should have just asked what hardy chickens are good eggs layers that are commonly available in Washington
     
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Welcome from an imp in Renton

    LongRider,

    Here's a link to the BYC breed chart, lots of info about different breeds, climate, egglaying etc.

    With our mild climate pretty much everything is a good choice.

    Some of the more common ones are:

    Orpingtons, Wyandottes, Australorps, Rocks, Leghorns
    .
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/breeds/breed-chart

    Come over and check out the Washingtonians thread in the Where are you forum

    Imp
     
  5. LongRider

    LongRider New Egg

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    Aug 31, 2010
    Quote:Thanks for the links, I did look at the breed chart but wanted to get local folks opinions as you all have the real hands on 'local' experience. WOW The Washingtonians thread is impressive 12090 posts I doubt I will ever get through that. It is by far the largest thread on any forum I have ever seen. Sure I will find lots of useful local data there. Thank you
     
  6. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Yeah us Washingtonians like to talk. And it's only the 4th longest in that forum.
    Don't even try to read the whole thing. The people and topic seems to change a lot. Always about 5 conversations going at the same time. Just go back about 10 pages, That's all it will take. There are some people talking about a fall chickenstock, and frequently people are trying to downsize their flocks. Lots of people who like to hatch there as well.

    I've had success with: Buff Orpington, Barred Rock, Speckled Sussex, Black Australorp, Gold Laced Wyandotte, Rhode Island Red, Easter Egger, and a Barred/White Rock cross.

    Imp
     
  7. nanawendy

    nanawendy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    Bellingham Wa
    HI I'm up here in Whatcom Co. My personal preference is to stay away from feathered feet breeds. I hate to see a chicken "cooped up" [​IMG]
    And having muddy feet can't be fun. In any case it's pretty much whatever you want. ENJOY [​IMG]
     
  8. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    I have a number of feathered footed breeds. I have to say they aren't the best bet for the NW due to all the rain we get. I still love the look. As for what you are say that you need, I would go with Bard Rocks or Rhode Island Reds. Both are hardy egg production birds, and make great beginner chickens. It is always fun to have a EE also just for the cool color of eggs that they lay.
     
  9. LongRider

    LongRider New Egg

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    Aug 31, 2010
    Thanks for the heads up on the feather footed breeds that is exactly the kind of local info I was looking for. I am taking this slow getting my coop and yard set up and learning what I can before getting any chickens. BYC and you folks are an invaluable resource. I have only had two other forays into raising birds other than pets. The first I was handed a dozen quail to raise. Those are some strange critters. Anyway not knowing anything I let the ground get muddy as it does in Washington. They had a coop that they used but one night when it froze all twelve got their feet frozen into the mud where they of course all froze to death. Was tragic and a mess. Hopefully with all your help, knowledge and experience I won't have to learn any more lessons like that the hard way
     
  10. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    I live right west of you in Forks, WA. I would say that if you're just getting hatchery birds, from my experience, Wyandottes are the hardiest, toughest buggers for our rain, mildly cold weather, and especially for free ranging and not getting eaten. [​IMG]

    Next to them would be true Araucanas, but you'd have to go to a breeder, not a feedstore/hatchery for them. [​IMG]

    I have a lot of crested breeds and feather footed breeds, also a frizzled Polish - And they all do pretty well out here, but if you want anything cool looking in terms of feathers, I'd just stick to muffs/beards or tufts if you want an easy task with your chickens. [​IMG]
     

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