Flock Growing Project (Crazy? Hubs Says Yes)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Irenafarm, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. Irenafarm

    Irenafarm New Egg

    May 22, 2012
    We just figured out we can convert a two acre area to essentially safe (day) rotational grazing for our laying girls. We currently have a teeny confined flock. Breakfast, that's it. We are ecstatic that we can grow our flock and so is our landlady - visions of free range eggy meals dancing in our heads!

    I can't find more hens to save my soul. Bad time of year, I guess. This is our first chicken experience (not our first poultry, did ducks for a long time).

    I would like to convert a nice, nearly empty workshop we have to a chick nursery, get in a little order of pullet day olds, and grow them out. Then I have the breeds of my choice (Australorps and a few Buff Brahmas) and the kids have a little winter homeschool project.

    By the way, we are rural. [​IMG]

    Noob question alert. Hubs is picturing a shed full of poopy baby chickens for three and a half months (we have very mild short winters - NC). I think there may be others who might want to "go in" on this chick deal.

    If we had about a dozen pullets like these for sale in early winter, would anybody want them? We have a couple terrific sale/trade groups on Facebook so getting the word out isn't a problem.

    If so, when would it be best to offer them for sale? Right after arrival? After getting out under the heat lamps? I'm not interested in making a buck, just not going broke obviously. lol!

    How best to do this so they'd be more desireable? Merek or not Merek? The shop is new construction and has had no poultry or indeed animals at all in it so that is awesome.

    The timing would work out to where they'd be six months in mid April. I'm not concerned about my Brahma hens, but I want to get those Australorps going for the summer. Would others feel the same?

    Last, what about doing a co-op thing and just advertising that I want to order from ____, and does anyone want to "go in with me"? Is that "done"? would I be laughed off the FB groups?

    Yes, I'm a social moron. I worry about this stuff. [​IMG]

    Thanks. Love, Nervous Nellie.
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Your baby chicks can go outside when they're fully feathered, in my experience that's been about 6 weeks for a good, covered feathering. Even in colder temps, they can go out. If they were broody raised they'd be out in the weather, and hens do sometimes naturally brood in the fall. So, that should set his mind at ease on that count.

    You should offer them as new chicks, that way you'll have less investment in them. You can always grow out the ones that don't sell and offer them as started pullets in 4 months or so.

    You'll just have to feel out your local area. Layers or pullets at point of lay seem to be selling well here on Craigslist.

    I don't vaccinate, so can't help you there.

    I see folks on my local craigslist offering to go partial on an order from a hatchery. Not a lot of folks want or can handle 25 birds at once. Just be sure you order birds that can be told apart or have them marked in some way. I went partial on an order when I was quite new to chickens and just trusted the other person to chose her birds. I wound up with quite a few suprises! Looking back, I'm not sure she knew more than I did lol.
  3. Ts Farm Eggs

    Ts Farm Eggs Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 16, 2012
    if it's not cold out they can go out at 5wks. thats when i let miine out and they are perfect outside. But if it is cold outside just to be sure i would waight till they're 8wks. old.
  4. Irenafarm

    Irenafarm New Egg

    May 22, 2012
    This sounds very awesome. Eight weeks we will still have pretty warm temps here, under shelter. Wow. Okay. Chickens are REALLY different from ducks...

    No probs on which chicks would be which. I want Australorps and some Buff Brahmas, and plan to fill the rest with Barred Rocks. They'll be the small spotty biddies with nekkid feetsies. :) I think those should be a good chick to sell at pretty much any age, yes? And of all our previous attempts to raise chicks last spring, they did the best, almost making it to laying age before a new neighborhood dog broke into our "chicken fortress" that wasn't.. [​IMG]

    (Hence the plan to convert a workshop into a chicken house!)

    Okay, we are doing it! We are going to have fun, right? Uh, right?

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