Expanding flock with additional breed and meat chickens

juliejohnson805

Songster
Aug 24, 2016
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Central Alabama
Good Morning All!
I have learned so much from this group so I thought I would post my current plan and thought process to see if I'm on target or need to adjust. My current flock consist of 16 hens of various breeds all almost 2 years old. We lost our roo this winter. So I need a new roo for my egg girls. My plan is - add more hens in certain breeds so I can start selling chicks and have diversity in my egg business and add in some meat chickens for personal consumption.
I have ordered 15 CX chicks. I have them a 10x12 fenced area they will call home. It has a coop area on one end. Planning on them staying around 8 weeks.

I also have ordered 4 wyandotte hens and 2 roos from the same breeder. These will be used to hopefully get some chicks. I understand that I need to add in stock from other sources.

I have also ordered 4 Copper Marans (straight run) hoping to get at least one of hen and roo from these. These will mainly be added into my egg flock. Though I might hatch a few. This is for diversity, egg color and I know I need to start adding new stock as my current girls might slow down after this summer.

Plan is to raise all chicks together using MHP until they out grow the smaller travel kennel I keep them in as chicks. The wyandottes and marans will be housed together in an area next to my current coop/run until I can let them intermingle with my current hens who primarily free range.

Questions:
1 - Can I raise all of these chicks together using the MHP until they are big enough to move ouside? Wasn't sure if the CX's will pose problem with this method.
2 - I know the CX are not normally good at foraging but can I let them out some with my regular hens while they are free ranging? or is it best to just keep them in their own pen?
3 - The area the new chicks will be raised in will eventually be a new home for part of the flock. Thinking that it will be primarily when I am wanting fertile eggs from one of the breeds. Will that stress them out too much to move them into a different coop/run for a period of time? Will they reintroduce back okay?
4 - The new stock for breeding the wyandottes can be added the next generation right?
5 - I think from what I've read that its a personal prefernce and management style on how and when you start integrating new hens into egg business. Some seem to keep to they entirely stop earning their keep and others keep as pets. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks in advance for your help and for reading this long post!
 

MrsMistyReal

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Welcome aboard to BYC family gr8 people tons of information loads of fun enjoy shake your tail feathers :jumpy:goodpost::welcome
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aart

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1 - Can I raise all of these chicks together using the MHP until they are big enough to move ouside? Wasn't sure if the CX's will pose problem with this method.
2 - I know the CX are not normally good at foraging but can I let them out some with my regular hens while they are free ranging? or is it best to just keep them in their own pen?
3 - The area the new chicks will be raised in will eventually be a new home for part of the flock. Thinking that it will be primarily when I am wanting fertile eggs from one of the breeds. Will that stress them out too much to move them into a different coop/run for a period of time? Will they reintroduce back okay?
1-probably, but CX grow much faster that layer breeds. I'd have 2 MHPs ready, one set higher than the other, adjust height of each as needed for chicks growth.

2- CX can be run with layers and it can increase the foraging activity of the CX, to a certain extent. But attention must be paid to the integration aspect of all the chicks with the older flock. You could run the CX and new layer chicks together in separate but adjacent area to the older flock members.....or integrate the new layer chicks to the main flock early and leave the CX to grow out together n their own space.

3- hard to say for sure, but many folks do this. Might work out fine or you may have reintegration issues, could depend on how you set up the separate area and how long the birds are separated.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
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Feb 2, 2009
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I understand that I need to add in stock from other sources.

Why do you understand this? Many people do not bring in new blood for several generations.

1 - Can I raise all of these chicks together using the MHP until they are big enough to move ouside? Wasn't sure if the CX's will pose problem with this method.

I don't use the MHP method so I can't comment from experience on that. Something to consider is that the CX will grow a lot faster than the others. I've seen some proponents of the MHP method mention that the pad has to be adjusted so the backs of the chicks can touch the pad, not sure how critical that is. The CX are much more efficient in converting feed to meat. That means they tend to eat, poop, poop, eat, eat, poop then do it again. It sounds like you may be brooding them in your house, not sure what issues this discrepancy in how much they poop might affect that. I'd suggest trial and error and see what you think for the next time. The CX tend to stay at the feeder instead of roaming around, you probably want lots or room around the feeders so they don't block the others form eating.

2 - I know the CX are not normally good at foraging but can I let them out some with my regular hens while they are free ranging? or is it best to just keep them in their own pen?

Some people get the CX to forage more than others. We all raise them differently. Whenever you integrate you always have the possibility of problems but those should not be any higher with CX than other chicks. Try it and see what happens.

3 - The area the new chicks will be raised in will eventually be a new home for part of the flock. Thinking that it will be primarily when I am wanting fertile eggs from one of the breeds. Will that stress them out too much to move them into a different coop/run for a period of time? Will they reintroduce back okay?

People do this all the time. Whenever you separate and reintegrate it is possible you can have problems, especially between roosters but some hens can add drama too. If they can see each other while they are isolated your odds improve.

4 - The new stock for breeding the wyandottes can be added the next generation right?


Yes

5 - I think from what I've read that its a personal prefernce and management style on how and when you start integrating new hens into egg business. Some seem to keep to they entirely stop earning their keep and others keep as pets. Any thoughts on this?


Purely your choice. We all have different goals and management techniques. Just because I do something my way does not mean you have to.

Thanks in advance for your help and for reading this long post!


I'd much rather have sufficient information to respond instead of trying to guess what you are talking about.
 

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