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Posts by Mrs. K

The big issue is size, one should wait until they are very close to the same size, and that will take several months. It is so tempting to just hope they will get along, but most often if they are smaller it is not pretty.   The other thing is to have hide outs in the run, different levels in the run, like a pallet up on bricks or a roost outside so that they can get away from each other or out of sight.   MrsK
I would go down to one rooster, for your 11 hens. Roosters eat as much if not more, than hens, why would you want to keep a spare? In a home hobby, I do not really think there is a great advantage to a spare. If you were breeding to produce chicks for sale, then perhaps, but you would need considerably more than 11 hens. If you hatch out chicks, you will get roosters, so if the one you pick, does not work out, well you can pick again.   I have 9 hens with one roo,...
If you have a good hen, quit worrying about it. I was nervous at first, but the hen stayed between the flock and the chicks, and if one chick got to close to another hen, and she moved to peck it, the broody took her to task. As for the feed, just feed chick feed, and then offer oyster shell in another bowl. The chicks won't eat it, and the laying hens will.   Just give her a nest on the floor, she may use yours, or she may find a spot she likes better and make a...
I like your choice of 2 of each kind, cause it does make it easy to count them up at night when you are locking them up. I always have a mixed flock. I really think you could get by with one rooster. Which might cut your problems with the neighbors in half. Although if you have your heart set on it, two roosters, generally (not always) do better that are raised together. Some roosters will fight to the death, and it can be ugly. And lots of people just start out with...
I think that they may need some more space. You don't say how many and how much space. They are growing, and take up more than in the beginning. I do not get mine quite this early, because I want them outside as soon as possible, climbing over stuff, and having lots of space.   MrsK
Ask at D&M, two or three years ago, come August, I lost most of my flock. She knew this woman, who was older, who raised chicks and sold at point of lay. I went and bought 6 or 8 of them. But I don't know if she does it any more.   I don't know what kind of hens you have now, or if you do have any, but several breeds are prone to going broody. In my opinion, a broody hen is the only way to raise chicks. She does all the work, outside! You can either have her hatch...
D & M is a feed store, it is located on the north side of hwy 44, headed east out of Rapid City. I don't think it is past Jolly Lane, but in that area. If you give them a call, they can give better directions.   She gets chicks in all spring, and is real willing to work with you, and you can get chicken feed too. May not be real high quality chicks, just hatchery qualitiy.   I am Monica Knuppe, It is nice to "meet" you!   MrsK        
D&M can get them in. She works very well with a person.   At the lady near Hermosa, I teach in Red Shirt! So we are neighbors!   I am currently praying for a broody, I lost my good one last year.   I have a rooster, and I am going to start keeping track how many fertilized eggs I am getting each day. But I would also like to add some other types of chickens.   MrsK
You might get a broody out of the orpington, if you are patient. If so, you have it made, just order your chicks to come between 15-21 days after she went broody, slip the chicks under her at night, and she will handle the whole thing!   If not, you have to separate for nearly 4 months.   I had a BO. She did a fantastic job! She is gone now, and I spend this part of the year, praying I get a broody! mrsK  
You will have to keep the chicks separated from the big girls for several months.   Flocks are kind of funny, and do not tolerate strangers real well. I agree with the above posts about putting them in at night. I think that the new home will upset the new girls and boy, and the new birds will upset the old hen, so you might not have eggs for a bit.   Have a few hideouts in your pen/ coop, and a couple of roosts in the run too. This gives space for the birds to...
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