Dreaming of Spring...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bobbi-j, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I don't want to get farm store chicks, let alone order any, would rather hatch some out from local sources...
    ....if I can coordinate the other 2 sources, that can be a challenge as I like to hatch early so gatherers need to be freeze wary.

    We shall see, just nice to start planning and researching to keep the light at the end of the darkness lit.
     
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  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

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    I'm hoping to be able to do that in the future. Maybe next year. I just need to regroup this year and kind of start over. I'll hang on to the old girls to see if any of them go broody. If not, they'll be processed when the pullets start laying.

    We will be making short trips this summer, but nothing extended like last year. We are expecting our first grandchild any minute, so we'll be going to see her at least once a month or so. They're about 4 hours away, so it's doable to run down for a day or two every now and then.
     
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

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    there should be a warning on the topic line of this post! Read at Your Own Risk!

    I am in the eggless after molt, not enough light phase of chickens! Ugh! I have similar size flocks of about a dozen. With just a dozen, I question if you can really pick enough high quality birds over time. (or that is my justification for looking for new breeds to add?) This summer 11 hatched, 8 were roosters! Five of those are waiting for a plucker that you attach to a drill. My daughter came home and called my bachelor pen, death row or the green mile!

    Thing is, I too, like different hens, and I like to add something new. I just can't keep myself to a closed flock. This is the best multi- generational flock I have ever had, and am looking very forward to a broody hen this summer. Unfortunately, last summer, we had a lot of cloudy days, and I did not get broodies till July, hence no eggs now.

    As for sources for chicks, I did have very good luck with chicks I ordered from Sandhills Poultry Preservation. They are noticeably higher quality birds, and they have a nice selection of breeds. They are a bit old fashioned in their ordering methods, but hey, they have good chickens. I have never had a Buff Orpington that did not go broody and do a good job of raising up a clutch. I generally have a couple in the flock, but am down to 1. Butter is 3+ years old now, so might need to add a couple of them. I am pretty sure one of the pullets was out of her.

    I am thinking of adding some Buckeye's to my flock. Thought about it last year... but got the Bielefelder rooster instead. His pullets are nice looking birds, but have not layed yet, and they tend to stay near the coop, not real great foragers. I have 5 of his roosters, waiting... the ones I processed earlier, were ok, but not that big. Most of these are going to canning jars. So dang handy to have in the cupboard if that plucker ever gets here!

    This year with two coups, I can separate birds so as to hatch specific eggs, if I can keep myself so disciplined. When I get a broody, I tend to stick whatever I have handy under her.

    Here is to longer daylight!

    Mrs K
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to the Grandma Club! It is so much fun! Grandkids love my chickens!
     
  5. mcbrown7513

    mcbrown7513 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My flock of 15 is a mixed bag. 2 roosters, a Rhode Island Red and a lavender Orpington. My girls are a Cuckoo Marans hen, 4 RIR hens and10 mixed breed Cinnamon Queen hens. Been wanting a girl to go broody for me. So far no luck. Thinking of doing a mitt flock for coloration differences, but breeding for health and temperment.
     
  6. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your just now starting to think on next springs chicks? I usually start when the springs chicks are integrated and the grow out tractor is empty, if not sooner. I dressed Bar Rock over White Rocks and they weren't to bad. Of course White Plymouth Rocks are half of Cornish X. Had Buff Rocks over GLW and they did well, pretty too.
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

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    Mrs K - I will check out Sandhills Poultry Preservation. As I've said, I pretty much have only ordered from McMurray before.

    McBrown - I hope you get that broody. I love watching a broody hen with a brood.

    Den - are you saying I'm lagging behind? :p I probably am, but that's OK. I didn't have any grow out pens to empty this summer to spur me on to look forward to the following spring. I'm kind of leaning toward a buff rock rooster at this point. I like the looks of them.
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'm a MMM fan also. Most of my birds come from them, or Ideal.

    And yes, I was just on their site, cruising chick assortments. I'm thinking to order the Rainbow layers or whatever they call it now. Pick the ones I want to keep and sell the rest.

    Then I go outside and deal with all the mud and swear no more birds until May! Yeah, right, like that's gonna happen.....

    I'm reaching a crossroads, though, I think. I've always been very happy with my hatchery birds, and love playing mix and match with my breeding. I like mixed breeds and having birds that don't look just like everyone else's. That said, I got a wild hair a few months ago and bought a group of 9 Marans hens and a rooster. They're black or black copper (one blue hen) and definitely NOT hatchery stock. I'm really loving the size and better quality of these ladies. Unfortunately, they make my hatchery birds look small and not well built. I'm noticing pinched tails, narrow bodies, things that never even crossed my mind before. Then, I get on here and hit the threads like the Heritage Rhode Island Red in the SOP section, and man.....those are some beautiful birds! I don't think I'd ever get into showing, but I'm thinking I may be at the point where I want better quality birds [​IMG]
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

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    Not only did I already my chicks for next year, but I added some to the order the other day.
     
  10. mcbrown7513

    mcbrown7513 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What is the best way to breed for health and personality? Egg and meat production will be a secondary consideration. I know many will disagree with me. However, this is my flock to breed for the qualities I want.
     

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