Hey all!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by SimianGallus8, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. SimianGallus8

    SimianGallus8 New Egg

    Dec 21, 2013
    Hey everyone!
    Most of the time I'm more of a sit on the back burners participant on forums but this time my job depends on it! Last season was my first working at a farm. We are an organic vegetable CSA named Mud Creek Farm in Victor, New York. I absolutely loved growing produce for our members and getting to see their joy in the vegetables we had to offer them (and disappointment with a few veggies that didn't do as well as planned).

    Working there I got to meet all the great neighbors and to build new friendships with them, primarily the Maxfield family. Their eldest, was a teenager who had a flock of 30 layers, began to sell eggs to our members at pickup once the girls started laying consistently. It was a great hit with everyone! Unfortunately, near the end of the season her father got a job offer in Oregon and the whole family had to move out there [​IMG]. In our post season survey we asked our members to guide us in the next season with what they enjoyed or didn't from 2013 and what they might like to see in 2014. Well the results have been in for awhile and a lot of people stated they'd like eggs again with maybe an availability of free range meats.

    So I have chosen to try a fill Lauren Maxfield's shoes (which in reality are waaaay to small for me, but for all intensive purposes are going to be hard to fill) and give raising birds a shot. I definitely plan to start with the layers, and raise a few "trial batches" of broilers to get a feel to cost for the 2015 season. I am in the design process for the coop which will have to be easy enough to move for pasture grazing, strong enough to last a few years and large enough for the entire flock (by the end of the year I hope to have progressively built the flock to 15 with a choice rooster (one that'll care for my girls in all the proper roostery ways)).

    So I've got a lot more homework and fabricating to do before the season begins so that I'm fully prepared. Any advice on cheap coops? I could use some guidance with poultry netting as well. Which girls have you all found to be your better layers, in quantity and quality? What breed of rooster makes the best leader? I'm also very open to the ways to offset feed costs. I'll be posting again soon, hopefully once I've gotten a bit more guidance on where I should be addressing my queries. Thanks all!
  2. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Alright [​IMG] great to have you joining the flock [​IMG]

    Wish you well in your poultry ventures but I would suggest
    one thing and that is making more then one tractor as too
    many chickens in one area will destroy the grass land and
    you will be our reseeding a lot more then you want to taking
    up time and eating up profits as chickens will dig up the
    roots of the grass where as a duck only nibbles at the top
    blades of grass and too much poo in one area will also help
    kill off your much needed grass .......... [​IMG]

    Try going to the learning center and see if you can find out
    any information that might pertain to your situation ..... [​IMG]

    Some of my youngsters

    A little bit of my flock

    A couple of the big guys

    Just a quack-up

    The zoo at feeding time

    gander007 [​IMG]
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
  4. SimianGallus8

    SimianGallus8 New Egg

    Dec 21, 2013
    Thanks for the welcome Gander and TwoCrows! Corvids are awesome!

    I shall have to do more researching to figure out chicken tractors and their potential detrimental effects on the land. I'm still learning about the ideal size for the tractors vs the size of the broiler flock.
    I would love to have my layers free range but I can't risk them running into the vegetable fields so I've got to pasture them with poultry netting. I've read that 10 sq/ft is a base area requirement per large size bird for foraging so if I have a 200 sq/ft area (which I would move around weekly or maybe every couple weeks) for 16 birds that should be more than enough. Is this an accurate assumption? Based on the demand for eggs though I don't think I should cut back on the number of hens providing them. I don't want to have too much feeding pressure on the land but at the moment I cannot afford to divide the flock in half, which would require two sets of everything. I'm assuming that as long as I can move them around often enough then they won't be able to scorch the earth so to speak and I can reseed behind them. I was thinking that I could even sprout grains and toss them into the forage area to offset some of the pressure on the grass. Figuring out the rotation is probably going to be one of the larger hurdles if sq/ft space is a problem.
  5. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    Google the Henderson Chicken Chart for a good breed resource.

    The best layers are going to be red or black sex-links, they also have the advantage of being sexable at hatch, which reduces the amount you spend on roosters that are not going to be much for eating. If you are interested in heritage dual-purpose birds with good eating size males, Delawares are my favorites, and lay a nice brown egg. The biggest and most cost-effective meat birds are Cornish cross types, lots of people like the Freedom Rangers for a more robust bird.
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Welcome to BYC. [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
  8. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!

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