Any help on picking breeds and diversity

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mikec1371, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Mikec1371

    Mikec1371 New Egg

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    Jan 28, 2012
    Camden Arkansas
    I am currently constructing 6 medium to large pens. Each pen will have a 10X8 pen and a 10X50 run. I currently have white silkies (12), silver hamburgs (10), and silver sea brights (6). I do not know what to do with the other 3 pens and need some help. I am looking to build a small breeding farm and I am culling about 35% to help improve the breeds. My family is very involved and can not decide what to do, and we are thinking ornamental pheasants (red golden, yellow, lady amherst, silver, or tragopans), peacocks, ornamental ducks (wood or mandarin) or turkeys (red bourbon or royal palms). We love them all and can not decide. I have 13 acres with an acre pond 100yds from the pens. I plan on expanding again in the fall to add 6 more pens with the same dimensions. We are also adding auto watering systems to all the pens along with electricity to add a heat lamp in the winter months (if needed). I am located in southern Arkansas. Can anyone please help. I also have about 18 lavender guineas on the opposite side of the field that pretty much free roam with a 8X16 pen.

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  2. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    First of all Welcome [​IMG] from San Diego..... LOL... I love your energy. Great start on your breed pens Do they have concrete floors? Are you going to have to walk through every single run to get to each of the pens? Or are you going to have access doors from the back side?

    I am not familiar with Arkansas. Your environment may dictate some of your choices on poultry. What do you want to do? I mean what kind of goals do you have in mind. I think that is very important to do from the beginning. For instance: Do you want to breed for sales locally? Like to feed stores? Do you want to set it up so that you can get a NPIP certification so you can sell and ship out of state? Which you will have to do if you want to sell on line?

    I know nothing about pheasants and weather you can raise them in the same location as Chickens. I hear its inadvisable to raise quail with chickens.... something to do with health issues. Its late and I am sure some experts will give you some ideas.

    All I know is When I decided to raise breeds I sat down and figured out how many I would be able to care for. What kinds of breeds were interesting to me and suitable to my climate. I live where it gets to be 105-110 degrees so Heavy feathered birds are not a good choice for me. I wanted Blue egg layers, and Dark brown egg layers, and White egg layers. I dont care for feather footed chckens so Marans were out of the question. And then I also wanted a big flock of Guineas. I plan to sell eggs and chicks and hatching eggs locally only. This includes Guinea Keets and hatching eggs. My ultimate goal would be to be able to make enough money to sustain a good life for my birds as well as give me some food for the table.

    My poultry house plans are much smaller than yours 24 x 24 with six partitions Four six by twelve one six by twenty four and one six by six space for feed and supplies. These will all be accessible from a central location. I need shade too here so access to the partitions will be from inside the house. I designed it to be maintainable by a single person who walks with a cane. ME..... LOL.

    So again figure out what you want to do then go from there.

    deb
     
  3. Mikec1371

    Mikec1371 New Egg

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    Jan 28, 2012
    Camden Arkansas
    Thank you for your response. I do want to be NPIP certified to allow the future options of selling online. It is currently dirt floors with 2ft of wire buried in the ground, we are also burying 2ft on the inside portion of the pen. I originally wanted access to the backs to access the eggs but decided against it and will only have access to it on the front of the runs. I have 3 girls and a excited fiance that cant wait to get started. The weather here gets pretty humid in the summers (about 100) and about 30ish in the winter. We are building a utility shed to house the battery brooders and the incubators (16X16). I am not looking to max out the square footage per bird and would like to keep it around 60-70% capacity. I love the colors of the pheasants and ducks and the kids are fighting on which ones to get. This hobby is very addictive and I am wanting it to be a self sustaining hobby and hopefully one day make a little profit. Thank you for the reply
     
  4. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    If you want to go for NPIP you need to plan for biosecurity in your buildings as well...... The only part that I do know is that EVERY bird on your place needs to be identified with a band and a number and they have to be tested so many times per year. And logs of those tests kept. I am sure others will chime in but questions about that will possibly be best suited for the Management of your flock section.

    deb

     
  5. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I have only had birds for about a year but have learned a few things that might be helpful to you.

    Try to estimate the amount of work that needs doing each day and determine who will be doing this work. I have children. When one is sick or feeling lousy, his work falls on me as my other son has enough to do already.

    I mix turkeys with chickens and the turkeys harrass the roosters especially. THey also work as a group to pick on a hen now and then. BR fly well. THey follow me every where, even to the car and surround it. Annoying when I'm in a hurry. Confinement may work better in my situation.

    Hens leave their eggs any place they can. If the nest boxes are not inviting , may be occupied by a rival, they find another remote place to lay. THen eggs may go unfound, is that a word?, until a later date.

    If you want to be a serious breeder of any particular breed, keep 3 pens of that breed and use the rotational system. THis reduces the need for adding more stock in the near future and reduces the risk of introducing diseases.

    Ducks need a pool of water. As my birds free range everyone uses the pool for drinking as well as the ducks for swimming. Needs dumping every few days and refilling, even in the winter. Ducks, apparently need access to water when eating. I can see this with pellets, not so much with cracked grains.


    I hope you find these observations helpful. Just my experiences over this last year. Great set up. Good luck and I'm sure you'll enjoy a nice selection of birds.
     

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