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Breeding Pens - A Question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by RaresightFarms, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. RaresightFarms

    RaresightFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2014
    Hi everyone! So my property isn't quite big enough to have a full-sized coop and run for every breed that I own (hence being a microfarm!), so we were wanting to utilize the breeding pen method of moving a pair or trio over to small sized enclosures for a couple months of obtaining fertile egg, before they go back with the rest. That way I can produce 4 or 5 different breeds at the same time, in rotation, without any accidental crossbreeding.

    However! We tried it last summer, and our test trio was having none of it. The moment we moved them, the hens stopped laying, and I didn't see the roo mount them once. I tried 'waiting them out' but they held out for two whole months! Not a single egg during that time. I gave up and put them back in the big run. I've seen enough photos of breeding cages to know that ours weren't too small or whatnot... so how in the world do we make it work?

    Is the egg-strike a usual thing when moved to breeding pens? What can we do to get them to settle in quicker? Any other breeding pen tips?

    Photos welcome!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I've had hens shut down when moved from the flock. I recommend you move pairs or trios to the breeder unit every few days. Continue to rotate them until all the birds you want eggs from have been in there a couple times. That may settle them down enough to know their new digs and know they'll return to the flock one day.
    My roosters seem to wait to mate till they're out free ranging or at least in the larger pens.
     

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