adding new stock???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Dixiedoodle, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    How often do you add new stock to your coop? When do you add them (Spring, fall, when ever)? Do purchase, incubate or use a broody? Do you purchase chicks, started or POL? and What do you do w/ the org birds...keep them until they die? put them in the freezer or sell/give them away?
     
  2. atimme

    atimme Chillin' With My Peeps

    217
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    Feb 3, 2010
    Chicago
    Typically the best plan is to start with new stock in the spring. May and June are good months for shipping chicks. I added new hens once a year, and all of the farms around us did the same. Some years I got them as early as March so we'd have late summer/early fall eggs for clients. The new hens would then make up for the drop off in production in the winter months from the older stock.

    If you are going to purchase hens or pullets, a quarantine of at least four weeks in a totally isolated coop away from existing birds is mandatory. Please read up on that by searching this site. If you skip a quarantine or mix age groups you are asking for trouble. It is pretty cost effective to order larger groups of 25+ chicks, if you ship less than that sometimes the shipping is more than the actual new chicks. Incubation is tricky and if you have never done it before, do some research and expect having some not so great hatches until you get the hang of it. Same with a broody, you'd be leaving it up to the hen and so many things can go wrong. Also mixing age groups factors in and you would need to keep momma and babies separate. Also do you have a plan for roosters? 50% will be roos.

    The older spent hens make great chicken soup, I always stewed them, picked the meat, and canned them with celery and carrots as soup stock. You could try selling them but I doubt you'd get more than $3-5 each. Giving away is an option but you'd have to wonder what the new owners are planning on doing with them when the eggs stop. Pet homes? Hope this helps!
     

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