flock rotation

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Raven27, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. Raven27

    Raven27 In the Brooder

    Nov 6, 2009
    I purchased 15 ISO Brown hens they are approximately 2years old laying like troopers.
    I also purchased 3 black hens they just started laying.
    I've been thinking about raising chicks and if I do that I think now is the time to do it because the iso's will be 3 when the chicks start laying and I could then do a cull.
    So what do you think ne1 please tell me how you handle your flock.

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I basically agree with your plan. Their best laying age is usually one to two years old. Production drops by about 15% on average after each molt after two years of age. Individuals will vary, but you should have enough laying hens that the averages mean quite a bit.

    A standard method of replacing laying hens and keeping production up is to replace half the flock each year. It may take you a couple of years to get the system working, but if you get Group A of chicks in year one, they will start laying later that year. The next year, you get Group B of chicks and raise them to where they start laying. You keep Group A. The third year, you get Group C of chicks and raise them. They will start laying. You keep Group A until they start to molt so you get the benefit of the experienced layers, but once the molt begins and they slow down or stop laying, you remove them. This way you don't go through the expense of feeding them when they are not laying, other than the molt after their first year. The next year, you get Group D of chicks and raise them. Group B sticks around until the molt, then they are gone.

    If you have the space, you could replace your entire flock every two years. This way you don't have to raise new chicks every year, just every other year, but you will be dealing with more chickens after the new ones are laying and before the molt begins. You'll also go through a spell where you have all pullet sized eggs. If you do a 50% replacement every year, you will always have some full sized eggs.

    There are different ways of doing it with advantages and disadvantages each way. I'll do the 50% each year, but I'm raising some for meat each year anyway so I'll always be dealing with chicks. Good luck!
  3. Raven27

    Raven27 In the Brooder

    Nov 6, 2009
    Thank-you very much for the insight.

    any one else want to share there stradegies would be great.

    Also this is a great site tons of info.
  4. chandasue

    chandasue Songster

    Sep 14, 2008
    Thanks! I've been pondering how and when to go about it as well.

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