Help with chicken addition

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jshreck, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. jshreck

    jshreck Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2013
    South Central Wisconsin
    I currently have 8 chickens- 2 roosters for 6 hens all a year old this spring. My hens are pretty well "loved" by my roos so I do need more hens (too much of a softee to send one of the big guys to the freezer and don't know where to rehome him to)
    Current coop is 60 sq ft. Run is getting redone in the spring and the flock free ranges 5+days a week anyhow.
    I want to get as many chicks as possible to minimize the stress of adding new ones- I'm thinking 5 but is 6 too many? Spring-fall is no issue I just worry about the Wisconsin winters and them all being stuck inside for 3+ months.
    Also my current flock is 4xBR 1 RIR 1 Manas roos are both 10lbs 1xEE and 1xJG. I want easter egger chicks is it going to be an issue that they're only 5 lbs to my big girls' 7ish pounds? Will they have issues acclimting because they'll never be the same size?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2013
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    More hens will help. However, my roos do seem to have their "favorite" hen, so one or two may be especially rough looking. You can also buy chicken saddles/aprons to protect their back feathers and let them re-grow. I love Easter Eggers. I have five with my flock of about seven different breeds, including Jerseys, which approach the 8 pound mark, and they do fine. After a little squabbles, they should fit right in!
     
  3. jshreck

    jshreck Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2013
    South Central Wisconsin
    Thanks so much for the input; glad to hear size shouldn't be an issue! My roos already clearly have their favorites-the poor bare barred rocks :/ They all have aprons in an effort to regrow their feathers- any idea how long that takes or tricks to speeding up the process?
     
  4. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2013
    Southern Illinois
    I don't really know of any tricks [​IMG]. I do up the calcium a little when they go through their molt, however. The back feathers shouldn't take a tremendous time to grow, as they aren't the longest feathers. I guess it just depends on how severe the bald patch is. Good luck!
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    They need protein, and time, to regrow feathers.......extra calcium is for when they are laying eggs and they usually don't lay while molting. If they are still being mounted while regrowing feathers there may be blood from broken pin feathers.

    Have you thought about how you will house the chicks until they are large enough to integrate with the adults?

    2 roos are probably still 1 too many for 12-13 hens...especially in that small of a space, especially when winter comes around again. Which is harsher, eating a delicious rooster stew (or letting someone else via an ad on craigslist)...or allowing your hens, who give you eggs, to be continuously over mated?
     
  6. jshreck

    jshreck Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2013
    South Central Wisconsin

    Thanks for your reply!
    I know, I know it's probably still too many I just can't bring myself to kill one of them. I should have gotten rid of one 6 months ago when I was sure we accidentally ended up with 2 of them instead of giving myself that time to get too attatched. We had no bare back issues till the winter since they've been cooped up essentially since mid November. Your point is very valid- the hens do lay great for us and for their sake I should consider getting rid of one....
    As far as housing the new ones they'll be in the brooder in the laundry room till it's a safe temperature to move them out to the coop. We have a table the roosts are built on so we'll wrap the bottom of that with chicken wire so they can see one another but not interact. I still have to work out the details of how to let them all be outside together but luckily I'll be on maternity leave most of the summer so they'll be able to free range which I've read is good for the little ones since there's plenty of space and distractions for all.
    Will get them some extra protein tonight; I read meal worms are good for that. I also read the feathers might not grow back till they molt if they were broken off vs being pulled out- hope that's not the case since theoretically if they molt at 18 months that's October.
     

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