How do those hatching weekly manage/pen your growers?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RareBreedFancier, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. RareBreedFancier

    RareBreedFancier Surrounded by Broodies

    Nov 5, 2010
    Australia :)
    Hi all,

    I'm planing to hatch weekly once my girls are laying and wondered how you manage your growers?

    I'm looking at setting 1 - 2 dozen a week so not oodles of chicks and I'll be culling obvious faults as early as I can.

    I don't have pens to keep every week separate and I doubt everyone else does so when do you mix them? How many different ages in one pen?

    I'm interested to see read how others do it while I'm planing the pens I need to build.

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    10,684
    96
    321
    May 13, 2008
    I just really keep lot's of pen's, grow out stalls, different size brooders, converted rabbit hutches also work in a pinch. That to me is the only way that works, I do get to watch, swap and mess with 'em all the while which is the best part.

    AL
     
  3. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    Everyone does it different, But I put all the chicks that are hatched the same week into a grow-out pen (All breeds the same age together) and leave them there for a few weeks then just turn them loose. I cull anytime I see a fault, a weak chick, or I just want chicken for dinner. We always have several hundred chickens on the farm, so I know it will not be the way people with only a few birds do it. From maybe a 100 of a breed during the year, I'll cull (Eat or sell) down to around 20. Then I put them in a pen or coop and start really watching them until I've gotten down to what I want to keep for the next year's breeders, then cull the rest. I might start with a 100 and end up with 20, or maybe only 6 or 7, just depends on how they look that year. Some of the breeds that I have more than one strain of like the Orloffs I will band or toe punch before they leave the brooder.
    Free ranging, they don't seem to fight much and the smaller ones learn quickly to leave the older ones alone. There is always a bully though.... but he better have "the look" or he winds up served with biscuits and potatoes. [​IMG]
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:I do exactly the same thing, although I don't hatch weekly. I have been hatching a lot ever since the addiction took hold of me. I also don't cull anything. All it has to do is survive. I'm not breeding, just hatching, feeding, keeping and enjoying.

    Perhaps I should just shut up and go away..... Sorry.
     
  5. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    9,491
    30
    293
    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    yes lots of brooders, birds are added together after a few months.

    Your best bet with that small numbers would be set every 14 days, less brooder needed. just store the eggs in a cool place.
     
  6. RareBreedFancier

    RareBreedFancier Surrounded by Broodies

    Nov 5, 2010
    Australia :)
    AL - Rabbit hutches are great. I bought one for my chickens when they were babies because it is all welded, has floor mesh and is chew proof.

    mississippifarmboy - Turning them lose sounds great, except for one small problem... the foxes here are terrible!!! [​IMG] I haven't lost any yet but everyone else around here has lost dozens of birds. Mine live in 'Fort Knox' and the dogs help but free range would be an all you can eat buffet. [​IMG] I'm trying to convince DH that a livestock guardian dog would be a good investment but he doesn't want another dog. [​IMG] I do love your solution to bullies. [​IMG]

    Linda - Don't shut up and go away, I was hoping to hear from you 'cause I know you got the hatching bug bad too. [​IMG] If I kept everything I plan to hatch I couldn't afford to feed them all. I want to breed some rare breeds and getting good stock is all but impossible so I'll be hatching lots and selling or eating those that don't make the cut.

    deerman - Brooders aren't a problem but a cool spot can be, we hover around 80f - 100f+ for months. I need to try and get most of the hatching done in early spring if I want to keep eggs more than 7 days or so. Once I get more hens I plan on setting more at a time. I mostly only have pairs at the moment so I'd be limited to what they lay.
     
  7. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    9,491
    30
    293
    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    yes i see....yes eggs don't keep long at those temps. best if you could store them at 55f
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by