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Flock replacement- what are your thoughts

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by max13077, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. max13077

    max13077 Songster

    As some of you know I've had issues with picking lately. Along with a new addition to the coop, I want to replace some of the birds I've lost this spring. However when I look at the dozens of variety's available at Mcmurray or wherever, I get overwhelmed.[​IMG] I keep saying "I want some of those, and some of those, etc, etc." Eventually I end up wanting 50 chickens and defeating the purpose.[​IMG]

    I know this is kind of a personal choice sort of question. But I'm just wondering how other people have decided in the past. What do you do? Do you have a whole bunch of different kinds? Or do you concentrate on one, maybe two breeds and try to raise them to the best of your ability?
  2. Xtina

    Xtina Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    After having done this for only six months or so, I have to say that my favorite bird is my buff orpington and if I had gotten three of her, I'd be pretty happy with it. Don't get me wrong, I love my barred rock too, but mainly because she's sweet and pretty. Now that they're all laying eggs, all the hens are sweet, but the orp was the first to lay, she's never pecked her eggs (that I can tell) and she consistently gives me one egg every day. She's simply the champ of the operation. I know there are better egg-laying breeds, but out of the girls in my backyard, no one is better than the orp.

    But the rock is still the prettiest [​IMG]
  3. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Depends on your goal. Is it meat? Eggs? Dual purpose? Do you want any offspring to be purebreds or will mutts be ok?
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Since I just started out last spring I decided to find one breed that met my criteria and go from there. My criteria included:

    -cold hardy
    -heat tolerant
    -non flighty, non-aggressive
    -able to withstand confinement (although I don't confine them often)
    -good for free-ranging

    I finally decided on the brahma and I haven't been disappointed in the least.

    I wish you lots of luck (and many peaceful hours of enjoyment) with replacing your flock! [​IMG]
  5. farmerlor

    farmerlor Songster

    We have a group of girlies that we raise just for eggs. People who buy our eggs like colorful eggs so we have .......let's see, about 12 different breeds out there. Very pretty little flock with great eggs. Then we also have, or soon will have some separate pens for purebred chickens. Those will be just Rhode Island Reds and Ameracaunas since those are the breeds of chicken that people ask us for most often. I'm hoping to also branch out into Buff Orps and maybe some show chickens like Silkies or Frizzles in the future. I do love my Orps.
  6. KrisRose

    KrisRose Songster

    Mar 9, 2007
    Davison, MI.
    I like a pretty flock with several different kinds of chickens. I am trying to make sure I have at least 2 of each breed. They tend to hang together. How they can tell I don't know [​IMG].
    I want all the breeds too but am limited by space. I narrowed the field by grouping the chickens by color and selecting out one breed from that group. For example; Buff Orps or Buff Rocks, or Light Sussex, Delaware, or Columbian Rocks. I was also limited by what was avalible locally. Now that I had chickens for a while I tend to look at egg color too.
  7. willheveland

    willheveland Songster

    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    Quote:That's my question for you too,Max.

    How did you ever make out with the picking problem? Will
  8. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    We have one of several breeds and 3 EEs (see what in my sig, I'm too lazy to post em all). It is lovely to have all the different colors of feathers and eggs.
  9. We started out with meat chickens in pen and allowed to free range during the daylight hours . Then we built another pen for egg layers , we decided on Bramas and cinnamon Queens . Then we built smaller pens for small groups of our pure breed birds so they could stay pure , we decided on frizzles my fav , white black tailed japenese , black rosecombs , mottled japanese , silkies , and a pen of ducks that i seperate into their breeding pens during breeding season. If you dont have a need for pure breed you can of course put them all together and get mutts , mutts are pretty good egg layers too.
  10. max13077

    max13077 Songster

    Well, if the new york lottery comes through tonight, all this will be for not. I’ll have ten of each!!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] Just kidding.[​IMG]

    My first intentions on the topic of keeping chickens was just a way to remember my grandparents and to sort of have a link to the past. Mom, Dad, and I miss them all very much. My mom often talked about being on the farm with her mother and how her grandpa used to come into the house with a his RIR rooster tucked under his arm. Dad would speak of how his father would keep all sorts of things like guineas, chicken, turkeys, ducks, and whatever else he could. Even though Dad isn’t real fond of the birds I had, I know he appreciates the tie they create to his parents and to my Moms. I was amazed to see Dad break down this past fall and help me process the Cornish X’s I raised. He’d never touched any of the chickens I’d had. But as he was helping, you could see him lost in his own thoughts, thinking back to the time when he was a boy. He explained how Grammie (had to distinguish between mom’s and Dad’s family‘s) and her sister Mildred would build a fire in the yard and heat up a big wash basin of water. Then they would go get the chickens, lop off the heads, and hang them on the clothes line. Dad went on for almost an hour about it. So I really feel he really appreciated the whole reason I got the birds to begin with.

    When I chose the birds almost a year ago now, I did so with the only the three following criteria:

    Cold hearty: This winter has been the nastiest ones I remember for quite some time, so this definitely needed to be a top criteria.

    Calm, gentle disposition: They had to be calm, friendly, etc. I was in a friends hen house and his were wild, loud and I just didn’t like it. We have some kids who come around that like the birds. I didn’t want breeds who were notoriously mean or whatever pecking them to death or making them fearful.

    Color and looks: I would say was the one other, but not as important. I love to paint. So color and shape were two things I looked at as kind of an expressive thing. Although one of the most nondescript looking hens, turned out to be my favorite.

    This site helped me a lot.

    When the time came to choose, I asked Mom what she wanted. Immediately she said RIR’s. So they were the heart of the order. But we ended up with: 5 RIR’s, 8BO’s, 3 SLW’s, 3 Dommies, 3 BG’s, and 4lt Brahmas. Unfortunately all the dommies and lt brahmas and one of the BG’s died shortly after they arrived due to that disease problem Mcmurray had last spring.

    So I guess I’m just looking to retain the tradition. I'll have to make the choice and see how it goes. I’m making my list in my head as I type!

    Thanks for the input!
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2009

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