Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by hellbender, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. hellbender

    hellbender Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 2, 2013
    Grinder's Switch
    It's good that you do your homework. knowing what I know now, I would pick just one strong breed and get to know and understand that breed before I went into others. There's a term I often see but don't think I've ever used...until now...[​IMG]

    'Chicken Math'. It's easy enough to get over extended with one breed but when one begins mixing the breeds, it can be difficult to match the characteristics and for that matter the character of the breeds so that some semblance of order can be kept in the flock...JMHO
    2 people like this.
  2. dfr1973

    dfr1973 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2011
    rural central FL
    I am certainly familiar with "yarn math" and "fabric math" ... as is hubby, by proxy. I am kinda-sorta using a slightly different version of chicken math though. I figure out of the 25 straight run chicks of each "breed" I receive next week, I will probably only have three each worth breeding. That leaves twenty-two for either the general laying group or for eating as meat. The advice I have often read here and on other fora is, "Get a bunch, then cull ruthlessly."

    The Wyandottes and Rocks are the ones I will be serious about. The Silkies are for incubating, brooding, rearing ... and the cute factor.
  3. hellbender

    hellbender Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 2, 2013
    Grinder's Switch
    OK..great! You might be just a wee-bit overly optimistic, thinking you will get three birds of breeding quality from hatchery stock BUT it absolutely can happen, with a bit of luck and working with the right hatchery. Please do NOT use any of those that drop-ship the chicks. Otherwise, if you get the birds at all, you could count your self lucky if you get the breed you ordered.

    Sounds like you have a workable plan and are excited! Good luck...and I will be hoping to see/hear how things are working out as you move along down this path!!! [​IMG]
  4. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 22, 2011
    Midlands, South Carolina
    I agree with Ron. You are spreading yourself thin to start. It is difficult to make any progress without some level of focus. It takes a lot of hatching and rearing to make progress. Otherwise it is only propagating.
    The "get a bunch, and cull ruthlessly" usually implies more than 25 birds, but I realize that you are just trying to get a start.

    On the other hand, like Ron said, have fun. You will learn a lot about what you like and do not, etc. This is a hobby for most of us. Just consider what you could do with 50 or 100 in one breed instead of 25 in three breeds.

    I suspect that you will come up with some broody hens with the Wyandottes and Rocks.

    But. . . in all seriousness. Have fun. I have been playing around with birds for 20 years (more if you consider my experiences as a kid), and I still look forward to every spring. I enjoy your enthusiasm.
  5. dfr1973

    dfr1973 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 20, 2011
    rural central FL
    Would it surprise you that I researched which hatchery? Or that I am starting with hatchery stock because their business model automatically selects for egg production? I chose Ideal out of central TX because their climate is closest to mine here in central FL - just a tad less humidity and slightly cooler in the winter, but similar enough summers I am hoping I don't have a whole batch stressing from the heat in April. In the grand scheme of things, I figure this will start me off with useful birds while I work to refine greater usefulness without losing the pretty or the overall type.

    I am building infrastructure here from the ground up - previous owners had this as a little weekend/vacation home despite the Ag zoning, so I am kinda-sorta starting "small" so hubby has a chance to keep up with me and the chickens on the building side of things. I am just glad and grateful he discovered how much fun chicken-rearing is, because two years ago this was "my" project and I needed to keep it truly small so I could do it properly. Now he's learning feeding and care and of course, housing/shelter and protection from predators.

    Quote: That would be a pleasant surprise for me! :) While hoping for the best, I am attempting to plan for the worst.
  6. draye

    draye Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 30, 2010

    Good luck with the Ideal stock. Never had any luck with them. Everything ( few exceptions) has died that I've ever gotten from them.
  7. chickadoodles

    chickadoodles Flock Master

    Feb 28, 2013
    South West Alabama
    Good luck with your project.

    I would suggest from my experience some electrolytes when you get them for a couple days it helps perk them up quick.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
  8. DesertChic

    DesertChic Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 13, 2014
    Southern Arizona
    Sounds great to me! Isn't it wonderful when our spouses catch our "chicken obsession bug"? My hubby grew up on a ranch and always had chickens for eggs and meat, but nothing like the ones I'm keeping. His were all flighty and mean. My first small flock of ten is all hatchery stock and VERY friendly and tame...much different from what he experienced as a kid. He was shocked the first time one of the birds flew up onto his arm just to perch and hang out while cooing affectionately. From that moment on it's been a whole different ballgame with him, and now I'm in the midst of my first incubator hatch...Naked Neck purebreds...and he's like a little kid, waking me up at 3 A.M. to tell me the first eggs have hatched. He even picked out another coop + run for me...all powder coated steel with tons of bells and whistles...all to house the "new birds" I'll be hatching and raising for eggs, meat and breeding. I absolutely love it!

    I hope you have amazing luck with your project, and I hope you keep us posted on how everything goes!
    2 people like this.
  9. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 23, 2013
    Portland/Vancouver area
    I truly wish you well on your endeavor. I started with hatchery birds last March to get my feet wet. They were a learning curve. This was advice from Ron, hellbender, last year and I've never regretted it. I went to better strains as I grew. Now I have Blosl and XW Poultry strains of White Plymouth Rock. A huge jump in my quality. Everyone that has come to look at the hatchery birds I was selling immediately put their name on my list for when I start hatching the "good" rocks. It's that much better.
    That being said, it's just one aspect of my business. I'll be getting 40 ISA Brown pullets on the first of Feb. To jump start my egg business. They will start laying at 4.5 mo and will lay 325 a year.
    I love the idea of caponizing and have the tools but right now I'm too stretched to do anything about it. If you want good capons, go for the rocks. They will be meatier than the wyandottes. The best thread for it is "My day of learning to caponize" or something. Kassaundra and Poco Pollo are the BEST.

    Edited for content:

    One thing that I feel strongly about is the fact that you should buy mainly pullets and just a few roosters. This will allow you to have a lot more pullets to breed than a straight run. They can say what they want, most hatcheries pull the pullets first for their orders and then sell the rest as straight run. It's only a little more and can make the difference in 75% roosters instead of 50% like they advertise in SR.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
  10. Leahs Mom

    Leahs Mom True BYC Addict

    Feb 9, 2012
    Northern Indiana
    Edited because, somehow, I put this in the wrong place
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by