How many chickens do you have? How do you keep adding to your flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Angiebubs, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I keep seeing s omany postings about hatching eggs, and adding to flock and I have several questions:
    -I am starting out with a dozen (plenty of room for more)
    -How many do you currently have?
    -How many do you add each year?
    -When people talk about hatching out chicks-are you then turning around and selling them?
    -When they are your "babies" are you still getting rid of them after 2 yrs?

    I want to buy an incubator and hatch out some babies, and add a couple hens here and there as I find a new breed I like but:
    -How do you introduce new chickens to your flock?
    -What do you do with all the roosters?
    -are you risking disease with your established flock if adding new chickens? How do you manage this?
    -Is there problems with mixing any particular breeds?
     
  2. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    More things to think about.

    How many eggs does your family eat in a week? It is cheap to feed 3-4 chickens. It is quite expensive to feed 50 or more of them. Housing costs get higher the more birds you add.

    What will you do with all the eggs? How much can you get for eggs if you sell them? I see no point in raising eggs and selling them for less than they cost me. Using your feed bill to pay some stranger's grocery bill for him; I'm not going to do that.

    Can you sell chicks? How much will you sell them for? Can you sell them for more than it costs you to hatch and raise them? Again, if you want to hatch a few chicks and give them away, it won't hurt you. If you are hatching dozens of chicks and selling them for less than cost, that can be an expensive hobby.
     
  3. hawcer

    hawcer Out Of The Brooder

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    There are probably two typs of chicken owners on here(maybe three). Ones that have them for a hobby/pets and the ones that are in business to make money. The third group would be a mix of the two...someone that does it for fun ,but still might sell eggs or chickens on the side.

    If you wanna make money...I think you have to go big or stay home. If it is just a hobby that happens to produce a few breakfast eggs, only keep enough chickens you can afford to feed and house.

    Don't bite off more than you can chew... it will take money to eventually make money, so if you are worried about making enough off sales to cover your investment in the chickens,the feed and materials ...and your time, you might not want to make chickens your money making business.

    Have fun with them....learn from them and enjoy them. If you expect more than they can deliver...you are just setting yourself up for disappointment.
     
  4. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am pretty sure I can sell as many eggs as I have....I live in rural area but commute to a metropolitan area...work in a company with 2500+ people. I am ok with spending more than I make....this isnt a money making deal for me....its the fun/hobby aspect. However, I do know that I will struggle with selling chicks/adults and wont sell for meat. And I also planon keeping my chickens long into retirement.....these will be pets with egg benefits.
    Im trying to decide if buying sexed day 1 chicks make more sense then incubating but afraid I will fall in love with all the roos and be unable tofind them homes
     
  5. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Quote:I started out with 12 or so to begin with. Like you I fell in love with different breeds as I saw them, ordered eggs and hatched. Then had to build more coops, to seperate breeders. My count goes up and down. Friends and family come to visit, see my chooks and want some. I give them birds and then hatch more. Extra Roos become dinner. Currently I have 36 chickens and a broody sitting on a ton of eggs. In the next couple of weeks I will rehome 5 or so. 2 hens have been promised to a friend and 3 hens will go to my daughter. 3 roos still need to be processed.

    My big coop and run is full of layers and 1 rooster. 2 Smaller coops and runs hold a couple of projects I am working on, a group of lav ameraucans, and a meat/dual purpose bird project. The last coop and run is mostly for holding, quarantine etc. It is located at the other end of the property, away from my main coops. Currently it has the roos I need to process.

    I LOVE hatching!! 2-3 times a year. This year they will be smaller hatches though. I don't want to get over 40 birds and am running out of friends to give them to.

    Vaccines can be ordered on the internet and are easy to give. I do try to avoid getting established birds...chicks or eggs I think are best. Always quarantine, vaccinate, worm and use a lice duster.

    Pets will live here forever. Extra Roos either get rehomed or feed my family. I haven't really seen a way to make a profit with my chooks. It's my hobby and my life style. I do have a neighbor that trades me extra roos for chicken feed....that works out nice.

    hmmm....think I got all your questions answered.

    Everyone does things a little differently. The Trial and Error method is the only way to find out what works for you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  6. hawcer

    hawcer Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I understand completely!

    I'm lucky...if I need to thin the herd, I just call my brother and he takes them. (he has more predator problems in his area)

    I'd love to do the incubator thing....it's like a mystery surprise an what you'll get. I have only ordered day olds once. I was lucky enough to receive 2 roo's and 3 hens from each breed I ordered. So I am able to keep 1 roo and two hens of each and give a roo/hen pair away of each. Chickens seem easier to give away as pets in a matched pair.

    I'll never eat my chickens...that would be like eating my cat(ewww)

    I would love to be able to keep more, but my space is limited. Like I said, keep as many as you can afford and have the room for.

    If you want all hens, I recommend ordering only hens....it's cheaper in the long run.
     
  7. hallerlake

    hallerlake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I started out last year with four birds almost by accident. At one point this summer, I had twenty one. Now, I'm down to a dozen. I wanted a couple of rare breeds, so I ordered eggs from breeders. Because these are rare breeds, I had no trouble selling my extras, even the cockerels. I will be hatching and selling again next year, only keeping maybe four more for myself next year. Obviously, I'm not an expert, but I've done my homework, and have learned through trial and error, too. I don't expect to get rich selling chicks and eggs, but I do hope to defray some of my expenses. I keep my breeds separate by free ranging them on alternate days.

    Adding chicks I hatched myself doesn't risk introducing disease. Adding birds from someone else's flock does. In that case, you quarantine the birds for a month before introducing them to your flock. I introduce chicks to my older birds by having a dog crate run for them inside the big run, and a cat carrier coop for them inside the big coop until the chicks get some size on them. In my limited experience, it's better to introduce them when the newbies have room to get away from the others, like when they're free ranging.
     
  8. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What do you look for when quarantining? My plan currently is-purchase a few hens that are already laying and put themout in the new copp. My babies are 4 & 5 wks old-so figure a month left in the brooder and if no problems with the older hens, Ill movemy babies out to the coop then. I just need to know what to lok for and what I need to do if anything with the new hens I bring in during quarantining?
     
  9. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, I won't be eating any of my babies...the DH would like to raise some seperately for meat birds (out of my vision) but thinking that Im not going to be able to handle that. So my biggest concern with incubating eggs is-what to do with the roos? And would I be able to part with any-roos or pullets [​IMG]
     
  10. hallerlake

    hallerlake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Treat for mites, lice, and worms just in case. Then, just watch for any signs of illness. If nothing by the end of the quarantine period, go ahead and introduce them.
     

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