Well, I've never done anything with my BYC page, so I guess I might as well make one!
This will be about my batch of chickens for 2011, that Lord-willing, I will be getting in the spring.
I'm thinking right now of getting about a dozen pullets for myself, and an unknown number of additional pullets to raise to point-of-lay and then sell. The pullets to sell will probably be Golden Comets, unless someone specifically requests some other breed. The breeds I'm thinking about for our own family are:
4 Golden Comets
2 Easter Eggers (Yippee)
2 Barred Rocks
2 White Rocks
2 Silver or Gold Laced Wyandottes (my hatchery doesn't let you choose the color)
UPDATE on Pullet Planning...
Now I'm wondering if I should have a few more pullets than I was first thinking. I really liked being able to make a little money on eggs last year, so I think I'll need more than just twelve hens to supply enough eggs for my family AND for selling. So...maybe two dozen pullets. If I get that many hens, here're my current breeds:
10 Golden Comets (just can't beat those pretty girls at eggs! )
4 Barred Plymouth Rocks (I have missed them )
3 Easter Eggers
2 Black Stars
2 Buff Orpingtons
2 White Rocks
1 Silver or Gold Laced Wyandotte
I'm still not sure what I want to do, though. My first batch of chickens was: 4 GC (ended up with only 3), 4 BR, 4 BSL, 4 BO, and 4 Australorps (ended up with only 3). Over the winter I was getting an average of about 15 a day (with supplemented lighting). (And then for some reason the egg production went down as it got warmer.) That's about 80% production. So I'm a little nervous about changing out breeds, even though I would like to try some new ones. My biggest concerns are the EE's and the Wyandottes. With the EE's, especially, I've heard that they are somewhat slow to mature and I'm assuming you can't always really guess at their production as they're mixed breeds. The Australorps I know are known for their egg-laying - I don't know how my own were, as with most of the eggs I didn't know which egg belonged to who! Mined seemed a little shy, though, and they weren't really my favorites. I didn't even realize how friendly my Barred Rocks were until I had sold them (they were some of the first to go) and the flock wasn't as friendly and outgoing anymore. So I really want some more of them. And their plumage is so striking.
I'll try to update this page when I decide what I want to end up doing.
Well, right now I'm thinking mostly the same as what I did last time, but now I'm not sure whether I want one or two Australorps. Arrgh. I can't figure out what I want to do. Maybe an Orp and an Australorp. And maybe more than one Wyandotte. Oh, why is this so hard?
My Dad and I (with my family's help) are hoping to build a real coop for next year, as the coop for my first batch of chickens was actually in the back of our well-house, which was not very nice for my Dad, whose tools got swathed in dust and cobwebs and who no longer had anywhere to work on projects. He'll be happy to have his space back, and I'll be happy to have a whole building completely devoted to the chickens. We're still working out the plans, so maybe I could post my sketches on this page as I go along. Right now the plan is a 13'x7' (the size of a current slab of concrete that we already have ) rectangular coop, with a roof slanting to the north. My Dad had the brilliant idea of putting the roosts outside the actual footprint of the coop, in a not-so-little roofed section that projects out from the outside wall (kind of like those nestboxes that you can open from the outside), so that the droppings wouldn't fall onto the floor and could be cleaned out separately from the rest of the coop. That gives us more floor space, a hopefully cleaner floor, and an easier way to clean out from under the roosts.
Well, thanks for looking at my page. I'll hopefully add to it as time goes by. Blessings, wordgirl