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Conservation Stories: Suzanne Chandler & Flower Feather Farm

A woman holds a speckled chicken in her arms inside of a fence with a building in the background.
Suzanne Chandler holds one of her Ameraucana hens in front of the new gutters on her chicken coop.

“When it fits, it fits!” Suzanne Chandler of Flower Feather Farm knows when something fits her life goals and her farm. As a fourth generation Whatcomite, she grew up in Bellingham but always wanted a country home with lots of animals. In 1995 she found that country home.

Four chickens stand on mulch. Half are speckeled the other half a a wheat brown.
Suzanne's chickens stand on new mulch partially paid for through funding from Whatcom CD.

She now runs Flower Feather Farm on that property, a specialty chick hatchery and dahlia farm. Her hatchery focuses on special breeds for local chicken enthusiasts, as an alternative to shipping. Since she opened her chick hatchery in 2019, she has been keeping busy raising specialty breeds, as well as her pet goats, dogs, and cats. However, this year she began to look at parts of her property and decided it was time to put the land to better use. She reached out to Whatcom Conservation District (Whatcom CD) for free and confidential farm planning services and found another fit.

“I contacted Whatcom CD earlier this year looking for input on the best way to use our four under-utilized acres of field and forest. Corina (a Whatcom CD farm planner) came out and gave us good advice, including info on two different grant programs for which we were eligible, both of which we utilized.” – Suzanne Chandler
A rooster stands on a small structure behind a fence. Behind the rooster is a building.
A rooster poses in front of the new gutters partially paid for through the Whatcom CD Small Grants Program.

Beyond coming away with ideas for how to better utilize her acreage, Suzanne learned about best management practices that would help manage rainwater in her chicken runs. Whatcom CD was able to offer Suzanne a $3,000 grant to improve her roof water management and construct an underground outlet. Additionally, she qualified for a $300 rebate to improve her chicken run footing.

“Well, our heads are still spinning with all the options available, but it is so nice to know that the CD is always available to help us sort through our plans. We really appreciated the help offered in managing our rainwater run-off. Gutters and drains are wonderful things.” – Suzanne Chandler

A woman rubs a goats ears as it jumps excitedly.
Suzanne with one of her pet goats. She recently put in a new underground outlet and footing for the goat pasture, utilizing the WCD Small Grants Program.

Suzanne is excited to continue working with Whatcom CD on future programs, including the 2024 Whatcom Farm Expo on March 2nd. She will be giving a seminar on chicken breeds, chicks, and hatching. When asked if she would recommend Whatcom CD to her friends and neighbors she responded, “Absolutely, and we already have. We love having access to the huge body of knowledge the CD represents.”

You can learn more about Suzanne, Flower Feather Farm, and her mission at her website. Make sure to check out her talk at the upcoming Whatcom Farm Expo. For more information about Whatcom CD’s free and confidential farm planning services and grants, check out our website or contact a farm planner today.  

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