Does This Sound About Right?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ShellLea, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. ShellLea

    ShellLea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a family of 7 so I plan on ordering 15 chicks. I'm guessing that only ordering 1 male I'm probably going to end up with at least one more so we'll be good fertility wise. I'm going with EE's because I have 2 younger children and the birds and eggs are varied in color and that should help keep the little ones interested. Am I planning this out right?
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    I think if you do only end up with one roo that would be the minimum necessary for that number of hens (with fertility being the goal). With just the one you may, however, have some unfertilized eggs in the clutch you try to hatch. Depending on where you get your EEs, you may not get the color variety you desire - I have 4 EEs, all from the same hatchery and all lay the same color egg. It's a pretty bluish green. I have a varied flock of other hens so I get lots of shades of brown as well. I wish you well in your chicken endeavors and Happy Holidays!
     
  3. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    It also depends on how many eggs you plan to eat! We (two of us) had not enough eggs with 4 hens in the summer laying 4 eggs a day. We moved up to 8 hens giving 6 eggs a day in the summer, but now we're getting 2 or 3 now that it's winter. So you might want to get some breed diversity for better winter and summer laying, if this will be your family's only source of eggs. In my experience, resoxs is right in that if you order from the same hatchery you'll probably get similar colorations in birds and eggs. If you're looking for color diversity, make sure to stick a few brown layers, white layers, and chocolate layers in your flock in addition to the EE's, and it's guaranteed.

    redsoxs is also right that 1 rooster to 14 hens is not going to guarantee fertility, and I don't think that you'll necessarily get an extra roo from your batch, but I would not order extra unless you do...

    Rooster planning! If you do plan on hatching eggs, also plan on having roosters. You will get more than 50% of them when you really don't want to, and you need to be prepared to get rid of them by butchering, adoption, separate runs, etc.

    Good luck! Is this your first chicken adventure??
     
  4. ShellLea

    ShellLea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, this will be my first time with chickens. I guess I better get to checking out a few more breeds. We've been going through about 8-10 dozen eggs a month so maybe I'll need more birds.
     
  5. chews chooks

    chews chooks Out Of The Brooder

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    if u get more birds just be shure to care for all of them and check that they are always in good health
     
  6. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have 26 hens & 1 roo and it works out well for us. We haven't incubated any eggs, we strictly use them for food. Right now we're getting about 45 doz eggs/month, we eat a bunch, sell a bunch and I donate approximately 15 doz/month to the Salvation Army Food Bank. If we were going to raise chicks I'd consider getting another roo to help insure fertility of the eggs, but right now the roo I have is almost 1 yr old and so far (touches wood) has been a very decent roo and not needed culling. I don't want to do anything that would change his behaviour.

    We have a majority of EE's, a couple of Silver Laced Wyandottes, a few Cochins, a Seabright and a couple others I can't think of the names of right now. Here's what my daily gather looks like color-wise.

    [​IMG]


    We get a couple blues, a bunch of different shades of green, several shades of brown and a couple pinks. It makes the dozens we put in the cartons fun to look at.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  7. ShellLea

    ShellLea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice and ideas everyone. It's back to the drawing board for me, though. The hubby saw me searching through the different kinds of chickens and now he's helping. I think I gave him chicken fever. [​IMG] He has decided that too many eggs is preferable to even the slightest possibility of having too few. And he likes dreamcatcherarabians rainbow of eggs as much as I do. Time for me to get the pies baking. Maybe I can get some bird shopping in once they're in the oven...
     
  8. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sounds like 14 layers is great for your family during the summer, but for eggs throughout the winter you might have to have more.

    Enjoy the holidays and good luck with your chicken search [​IMG]
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    You usually get a price break from a hatchery if your order 25 [​IMG]

    I'm not an enabler or anything............not at all...............

    It is a lot of birds, though, and the biggest thing to keep in mind is space. The more space you can give them, the better. Less space will give you birds with behavior problems.
     
  10. dreamcatcherarabians

    dreamcatcherarabians Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's true, about the price break. I normally order in multiples of 25, most hatcheries don't care if you mix the breeds so long as the numbers add up. Order more than you think you want because you'll have some attrition, during shipping, right after they arrive and a few as you're growing them out. My last order was 50 chickens and not sure what happened during shipping but approx 1/2 died either by the time they arrived or within 2 or 3 days of their arrival. I gave them the Gro-gel and did all the keep 'em healthy stuff, but it wasn't a good experience. The hatchery sent me 27 more birds and I lost about 1/2 of those too, I'm thinking it's because of the shipping time. They used to ship over night and I lost very few. Last year I ordered on Mon, they shipped Tues morning and I didn't get called by the Post Office til Fri morning. So, I ended up with about 38-40 day olds, and have lost a few due to hawk predation or....just lost a couple who decided to go for a swim in the horse's stock tank, that didn't work out so good for 'em, poor girls. Out of about 55 total chickens last year Feb (I had a few left from my first flock), I'm now down to about 28 chickens. I'll be ordering some more here pretty soon, so when my current girls hit 2 and slow down on the laying, I'll have the Junior Egg Laying Corps all prepped and ready. And it gives me a really good excuse to order more birds of different breeds......[​IMG][​IMG]
     

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