New home, Just Add Chickens

For me, watching a chicken gently clucking and making its way across my yard while it searches for breakfast is as relaxing as sitting at the edge of a babbling creek in the warm sun……. I am pretty sure my blood pressure just said  “oh-yahhhh”.

This summer we are building a new chicken coop. We have learned so much over the last few years about what works and what doesn’t. Our first coop cost over $600….this one will probably cost under $100 and will look beautiful…..live and learn. The best lesson we have learned however, is that chickens are very easy to care for (we can leave them for a week and not worry) and produce eggs so fine, they will ruin you for the store-bought ones.

We have also learned a lot about what breeds of chickens fare best in our area, which are better layers, and last but not least……..which type of rooster is least likely to inspire me to run faster than I thought I was capable. They may be small, but the little suckers wait until you turn your back and “wham!” you feel a beak tearing at your flesh! They are much less cute after an incident like this.

 

Here are my favorites for the northeastWashingtonarea for starting your flock:

 Rooster

Buff or Black Orpingtons. They may may not be the showiest, but every one I have owned has been gentle to a fault.

Hen

Buff Orpingtons. They are great layers of fine brown eggs

Black Australorps. These are beautiful black girls with a green sheen. They are gentle, sweet, great layers.  Brown egg layer.

Barred Rock. The black and white striped chicken that could! These girls are great layers and winter well. They may be a little more shy than an australorp, but a great brown egg layer.

For a family of 4, I would suggest 2 or 3 of each hen as a hen lays an egg about every other day. The rooster is optional, and if you don’t want chicks, I would skip him….he doesn’t provide enough protection to the hens to make him worth it unless you just want to watch him strut around.

Another great addition to any home is a guinea hen.  Their eggs are tiny, but edible…but they do an excellent job at eating bugs and watching them chase grasshoppers around the yard is a hoot!

No matter the size of the flock or your reasons for having one, it is worth the consideration for any new home owner. If you ever want to discuss what might work for you, give me a call or send me an email!

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