flashyponies

Hatching
11 Years
Oct 2, 2008
2
0
7
WA
I've been given the go ahead to get me some chickens...so I did some looking at the breeds...I love Wyandottes! But where do I start? I have a huge dog kennel to use, cement floor with septic system, 6ft cyclone fencing, and a building on one side, the top is open. My other option would be to free range them in the horse pasture.

Any thoughts of where to start and where to keep the chickens??? Should I start with adults or chicks?

Help!
 

DuckLady

Administrator
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jan 11, 2007
34,407
6,579
631
NE Washington State
You can start either way. You can get some older hens to get used to them maybe and in spring get some chicks.

(OT -If you need hens, I am giving mine away. They are a few years old but most are stll laying. Contact me privately if you are close to Oregon City)
 

muddler6

Songster
12 Years
Sep 12, 2007
474
2
139
Jefferson County, PA
I started with five 1 week old chicks that I got locally. Depending on how cold it is where you are, you may be better off to get older feathered out birds to start with. Then you can always hatch more. WIth the building, you can add some heat lamps to keep them warm too, just be carefull. Keep looking on here for info and advice, the people on here will lead you in the right direction. I would cover the run if I were you, and make sure that predators and dogs can't get to them, it really stinks to have your investment and animals destroyed, I know this from experience. Do a little research and then go for it!!! A yard full of chickens is interesting and entertaining thing!! and the fresh eggs are hard to beat!
 

debilorrah

The Great Guru of Yap
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
39,693
122
423
The Carpal Tunnel Rehab Center
We started with a comical romp on a chicken farm nearby where we had to catch the hens we wanted. This meant that there was no way we knew if they were laying or not. 6 weeks later we are getting an average of 3 eggs a day and transformed an existing shed with built in boxes into our coop. It is mostly constructed to 2x4's and chicken wire, but the shed gave us a fantastic start. There are 6 nesting boxes without making any adjustments to the shed!
 

chookchick

Songster
11 Years
Aug 18, 2008
1,921
75
216
Olympia WA

I also started with chickens this summer and here's what I learned from my experience:

I wish I had started with a few laying pullets, I started with 2 week olds and didn't know how hard they were to sex. It is heartbreaking to have to get rid of roos that you have raised, especially right off the bat. With laying pullets you know what you are getting, a lot of the issues (like coccidiosis) are pretty much over with and they can get through the cold without extra help. Get chickens that are fairly tame if you can, very healthy and raised together so no fighting issues.

Make sure you are prepared for predators. Most places in WA have a lot of raccoons, there are lots of posts on this forum that will scare your pants off, but better safe than sorry! Feel free to post a pic and get some feedback about your coop setup.

Try to limit your BYC time to 3 hours a day. Good luck!
 

magikchick

~FEATHERFOOTED DIVA~
12 Years
Apr 21, 2007
1,394
9
191
SW Florida
I started with 3 little chicks that I got from the feed store. Now I have almost 30 with the seven I just hatched. They are very addictive. My favorite thing to do is sit on deck and watch my flock.
 

flashyponies

Hatching
11 Years
Oct 2, 2008
2
0
7
WA
Thank you for your input. I have a few more questions

I'm also curious about what equipment I need...what kind of coup will do, what kind of feeders and waterers. Where to find the breed of choice (is it best to buy locally or can they be safely shipped)...what kind of food?
 

bluie

Songster
12 Years
Aug 18, 2007
482
19
139
I have one SLW and one GLW and I love 'em both. They are only 11 weeks old though. But nice healthy chickens. The GLW is huge! Bigger than the BO.
 

cajunlizz

Songster
11 Years
Apr 27, 2008
2,109
11
201
Lafayette, Louisiana
Quote:Only thing about getting chicks , especially if you are getting them to have fresh eggs , you will not have eggs for 4 to 6 months down the road . So , that means you have to house them , feed them and wait like most of us do for the signs of the coming laying event .


What we did was get 6 layers and also buy 30 chicks that were a week old . and let me add , we got them chicks in April 2008 and we are now in Oct. and no eggs YET . but that don't stop the expense of feeding them . PLUS chicks you have to use grower feed , then later switch to layer feed once they start to lay .

DH said had he known it would be taking that long for them to LAY , we would of bought them already laying .
wonder who is more impatient ?
 

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