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Best move to replace a rooster and have a total of 4

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

One of our hen trio turned out to be a he and we couldn’t keep him.  Of course, he was the favorite.:(  The other two are 12 and 16 weeks old.  I have a very large brooder with an attached “play pen” for quarantine and the coop (when finished) will be 4X8 with a 72 sq. foot covered run.  Chicks are being put in the run during the day now but come back to the brooder at night.  That routine has gone on longer than expected because of the crowing.  Very soon the two remaining girls will stay out for good.  FYI – the run is weather and predator proof.

 

I know for sure one of the chicks is a she and the other I’m pretty confident is.  Maximum capacity for us is 3 egg layers and 1 very special retiree.  We really don’t want to start over with baby chicks but I’m unsure about the right age/combination to get for this set up.  Craigslist hasn’t been too helpful in finding a couple pullets locally.  And to be fair, I’m a little particular about what I want.  Is mail order the best option?  From where?  Would it be fair to keep older chicks that were probably already on grass in the brooder for a few weeks?

post #2 of 3

Your 12 to 16 week olds are almost point of lay chickens. That is what you need to ask for either locally or through a hatchery. Contact your county extension agent for any local poultry clubs. It would be a great place to meet people that might have what you want, without shipping birds, which can be hard on them, but not impossible. Point of lay birds, might be a bit more expensive, say $10-15 per head.

 

I think you are just getting started in this, so I will offer a bit more advice, adding a single bird to an established pair is very difficult. It can be done, but it can be ugly. It would be better to add a pair or a trio, and later, pull one if you are positive you only want 3 head. Do make sure that your run has roosts, and hideouts, so that birds can get away from each other.

 

While many people only want the chickens they have, you might consider having a flock, in which birds are added and culled each year. Generally speaking, they are not real long lived. There are exceptions. But however you are comfortable, it is your flock.

 

Mrs K

Western South Dakota Rancher
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Western South Dakota Rancher
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

I am going to add another pair, not a single.  We have room for 4 with at least 3 providing eggs.

 

Poultry club is a great idea.  I think my mom is a friend of a friend of someone who is involved with one.  I’ll ask her.

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