Chickens

Oh, hello blog. Seems you might want an update once in a while, hey?

Well, here is some fun news. We have chickens.

Yes, that’s right, here in New Westminster we are allowed chickens! We were cooler long before the city of Vancouver’s much publicized chicken bylaw forming. There are rules in the City of New Westminster about what you can and cannot do with your chickens (no selling of the eggs, for example) and limits about how many and what not, but yes! My tiny little city in the middle of a giant regional district allows hens.

Meet Noodle and Giblet. They are silver laced Wyandottes (WHY-ANN-DOTS) and are about 4-5 months old. Giblet might be a bit younger. They were $30 each.

This is a picture of two hens. They are black and white checkers and are a breed called Silver Laced Wyandottes. Noodle at the front is 4-5 months old, and Giblet at the back is a bit younger.
I'm giving you the stink eye.

Noodle at the front is a bit bigger, a bit whiter, and decidely more stupid. Giblet at the back is the brains of the operation (if chickens can have brains, Giblet has them) being the first to venture and explore the great landmark of backyard construction: The Poulet Chalet.

This is a picture of an incredibly well made chicken coop. It is 3X6 and features a pitched shake shingled roof on one side, and a polycarbonate see through panel on the other side. It is a "bare floor chicken tractor".
The Poulet Chalet - a chicken tractor style of coop.

A few word about resources: The Poulet Chalet plans came from a helpful book entitled “Chicken Coops: 50 Building Plans for Housing your Flock” (if you’re in New Westminster, this book is available at the public library) and we’ve also referred quite a bit to a book on loan to us from our pet sitter, called “Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens” (link is to Amazon because NWPL doesn’t have it.) We also got a good deal of info from www.backyardchickens.com as well as another local resident / chicken keeper who wrote this post. It also helps that I have memories of having chickens as a kid.

Ross spent a ridiculous amount of time and effort on the coop, and if we were to do it again, we’d buy a premade one from someone on Craigslist for $250 or find some other premade option. All in all, it cost us probably about $400 – but remember Ross bought high grade lumber and we didn’t scrimp on much.

Regardless, Kale is in love with the chickens, Mooki is hell bent on eating them, and the chickens seem to have settled in nicely. Eggs are due in 1-3 months. Once they get up to production, the chickens should each lay 1 egg every 25 hours – but we’ll see. Happy chickens mean happy eggs.

7 years ago

5 Comments

  1. howdy !
    I found you on twitter, please let me know if it sent through. I live in queensboro, and I have some chickens ducks pigeons & rabbits. It’s great you got atleast 2 chickens, having a chicken by itself is not good because they are social animals. The city bylaw for poultry is actualy really old the health control bylaw from 1967(or68), people think its the animal control but its not. There is also no rule in newwest that prohibits you from selling your eggs. There are rules about how far your coop has to be from your house or anybody elses house (50 feet) and how far away from the property line (2 feet) and the cubic size per bird, the minumum lot size is 6000 square feet b4 u can have them. there is no restriction on roosters other then breaking noise bylaws. When I first set up I talked with the bylaw department, and they gave me the run down. Patrick Young (now deceased) also had a great deal of knowledge he shared with me about the bylaws, he usto be in charge of QB. Vancouvers bylaw is very restrictive with no chicks/slaughter/etc/. ours is much more liberal in those areas. I think your egg expectations are a bit optimistic, Silver laced wyandottes are dual purpose American breed submitted to the APA standard in 1883 from New York State. (I have the APA standards if you would like a scan jerry.ellis1@hotmail.com) also a really good reference for keeping your birds healthy (because there are some diseases and things to keep an eye out 4) is HEALTHBIRDS.CA, you can also access the BC minstry of agriculture website for outbreaks. I recently learned that if a dog come on yur property and kills your chickens, Animal control can impound the dog and put it down. Hope all works well 4 u in the future, I encourage you to join the FVPFA.ORG ! best of luck 2 u !

    1. Hi Jerry Thanks for your comments! I think you also posted on Tenth to the Fraser? I seem to recognize your name. the bylaw is quite interesting actually. When I first started looking into it I assumed Animal Control but you are right, it is in fact public health and it is from 1968. I have had some very good conversations with the bylaw folks. They are considering a re-write of the bylaws to make keeping egg layers more accessible – in particular the lot size is somewhat prohibitive. Their main concerns are vermin control and nuisance issues (like chickens running loose throughout the neighbourhood). In all honesty, if the chooks don’t lay as much as the books tell me, I won’t really mind. We hardly eat a dozen eggs every 10 days or so, and so it’s not a big deal to me how much these lay. I had tried to get Rhode Islands or some other red-headed chickens as that is what I am most familiar with and grew up with, but these will make fun pets and are nice to look at. We are thinking of joining / checking out the FVPFA – and are waiting for their next show.

      1. For some reason it ended up in my junk folder, but I got the reply message ! I hope you got the scans ok. I also wanted to point out, that keeping egg layers is not all that keeping poulty is about. It is a great starting point, but some of us also eat the birds we grow, and have fancy breeds. I often will grow a batch of broilers they are the fast growing meat birds. the ones you buy in the store are only 35 days old b4 they go to slaughter, and are fed a diet of the cheapest ingredients. the birds I grow are fed a diet of grains, greens and a longer life, even tho they are the same bird, you can’t compare them. The fat is yellow, the skin is thiker, and the flesh is very flavourful. The muscovy ducks have a taste and texture similar to beef. Before breeds like broilers, the birds were dual purpose, like RiR;s and wyandottes, they would serve as layers, until their productivity declined, and then would slaughtered for meat. So it is important that we don’t change our bylaws like vancouver and preserve that heritage. So I for one make sure ALL the uses of poultry are understood. Like I told vcr council, it is not just(ice) to tell people they can’t eat the bird they grew. It’s like saying you can’t eat the corn and potatoes you grow in your garden. It is a ridiculous rule. also chicken get injured, sick, etc, and you should know how to put a chicken down, rather then let it suffer, in the very least. As for the vermin issues, that is a matter of bio-security, as well as being a good example to the greater community. I had a complaint that my chickens had ripped open someones garbage, and strewn it about. The first time they complained, I cleaned up the mess, like a good neighbour. ofcourse, they didnt keep their trash in a container, it was left in the plastic bag, and it wasn’t my chickens it was crows. The next time it happened I wasn’t cleaning up the mess and pointed out the deal. to this day they still leave trash about, and I have to contend with the vermin THEY attract. I have 2 rat trap stations, and a catch a few a week. QB is full of vermin from the ditches and a transfer station on the richmond side that imports them with the recycled cardboard 4 us. There is no food for them to find on my land it is important that you do not leave feed over night or a place for them to nest. thats why they don’t want coops at ground level or rats will burrow under them. Chicken dont’ run loose in neighborhoods.Dogs do. they will stay close to there house, and will remain content in penned areas with sufficent activities. I have 4 foot wire, and when one does get out they usually a few feet beside the fence. To stop a chicken or duck from getting lift, you can clip the flight feathers back 2/3 of the way, it works best if you do just one wing, so they are unbalanced. the other nuisnence is the roosters crowing in the morning, I have had a complaint about that 2, I recieved a warning from AC, and was told I could be fined up to a 100 dollars. I will fight it if ever comes up again. people in glass houses shouldnt throw stones, but i did pput up some sound baffles. I also encourage you to get a rooster so that your ladies will get the protection and comfort only a rooster can provide 🙂 I think the message is if you do pass along your ideas to city hall for bylaws, make sure you don’t suggest they take away the privladeges many of us down here in QB already enjoy, all because of the vancouvers nonsense and hype. keep in touch !

  2. Welcome, chooks! They’re very lovely birds.

    And, what Jerry said. Jerry sounds like he knows what he’s talking about.

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