there should be a warning on the topic line of this post! Read at Your Own Risk!
I am in the eggless after molt, not enough light phase of chickens! Ugh! I have similar size flocks of about a dozen. With just a dozen, I question if you can really pick enough high quality birds over time. (or that is my justification for looking for new breeds to add?) This summer 11 hatched, 8 were roosters! Five of those are waiting for a plucker that you attach to a drill. My daughter came home and called my bachelor pen, death row or the green mile!
Thing is, I too, like different hens, and I like to add something new. I just can't keep myself to a closed flock. This is the best multi- generational flock I have ever had, and am looking very forward to a broody hen this summer. Unfortunately, last summer, we had a lot of cloudy days, and I did not get broodies till July, hence no eggs now.
As for sources for chicks, I did have very good luck with chicks I ordered from Sandhills Poultry Preservation. They are noticeably higher quality birds, and they have a nice selection of breeds. They are a bit old fashioned in their ordering methods, but hey, they have good chickens. I have never had a Buff Orpington that did not go broody and do a good job of raising up a clutch. I generally have a couple in the flock, but am down to 1. Butter is 3+ years old now, so might need to add a couple of them. I am pretty sure one of the pullets was out of her.
I am thinking of adding some Buckeye's to my flock. Thought about it last year... but got the Bielefelder rooster instead. His pullets are nice looking birds, but have not layed yet, and they tend to stay near the coop, not real great foragers. I have 5 of his roosters, waiting... the ones I processed earlier, were ok, but not that big. Most of these are going to canning jars. So dang handy to have in the cupboard if that plucker ever gets here!
This year with two coups, I can separate birds so as to hatch specific eggs, if I can keep myself so disciplined. When I get a broody, I tend to stick whatever I have handy under her.
Here is to longer daylight!
Edited by Mrs. K - 12/30/15 at 10:38am