Advice needed on swapping out my small flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mikecnorthwest, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    I've decided that my 5 hens have peaked in production and need to be swapped out for 5 fresh hens. I'll probably get the new chicks in Feb/March. You can look at my coop page to see my setup but basically it's a 4x8 coop and we let the hens free range all day in the backyard. I'll start the chicks in the brooder but need to decide whether to introduce the new hens to the existing flock when they're about 5-6 weeks old, or should I get rid of the 5 old hens first and then put the new ones out in the coop? The plus to integrating them for a short time is uninterrupted egg supply, but the downside is crowding and trying to feed start and grow to half the flock while feeding layer pellets to the other half. For those who have done this before, what's your advice.
     
  2. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    5/6 weeks old is way to young to be integrating chicks with existing hens. Best bio-security method would be to get rid of the older hens. Disinfect the coop and let it stand empty for a while before bringing in the new birds.
     
  3. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Why not just feed grower/developer to them all? That's what I do whenever I have a mixed age flock, which lately seems to be most of the time...
     
  4. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It would be impractical to scrub down the coop but I certainly could clean it out completely, do a little maintenance, and then dust vigorously for mites. I guess I could always store up on eggs and just make a clean switch.
     
  5. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You don't have to scrub it down. Just spray the walls with clorox/water (1/4 cup: 1 gallon). Allow it to dry. I then would paint the walls and roost with burnt motor oil. Not hard to do at all.

    My coop is 11' x 40' and I do this at least twice yearly. Of course, I clean it out much more often than that.
     
  6. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2009
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    My Coop
    What does the burnt motor oil do? I've never heard of that. The interior of my coop is painted white so are you saying to paint burnt motor oil over the white paint?
     
  7. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If yours is painted then that should be fine.

    The burnt motor oil fills the cracks and helps keeps mites at bay.

    If your coop is painted on the instead then you are uptown! lol.

    Around these parts we paint everything with burnt motor oil. Great stuff. Great price. Helps keeps fireants and termites out of the wood. Helps with external parasites. It's just a farm/country thing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011

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