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I am a bit confused and concerned

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ChickyWoman, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. ChickyWoman

    ChickyWoman New Egg

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    Hi,
    Nice to meet yall. I have chickens for the first time. I have a flock now of 14 birds all together, 13 hens, and 1 roo. 9 RIR, and 4 Arcana hens, and my roo is an arcana as well. They are super friendly, I played and handled them often from the time I got them as chicks. We converted a shed to their home, and it worked out great, it is huge, with heat, light, and a pvc water and food system that my husband made. They have a huge run fenced in with netting over top and it is about 8 ft tall, they have shade trees and also a huge umbrella too. I feed them only good feed with oyster shell, and grit, walnuts, blueberries, oats only good things and fresh everything from our gardens when are in season. It seemed so easy. I never lost one bird, and I love all the pretty brown and blue eggs. I feel I might have made a big mistake. I mentioned to my husband how I would love to have more, we all really enjoy the eggs and the birds are simply fun. Anyway, my husband, (gotta love my man), brought me home some chicks. In face we have 12 sex links, and 5 partridge rocks, (one was really tiny and did not make it) and 6 Barred Rock. Here is my dilemma. I am starting to think I am going to have to build another shed and run for these new ones. I don't think I can get electric out there though that would make me nervous. So now I have a ton of questions, 1, Do I need a separate run and coop? 2. Will these ever be able to go in with my Rhode islands and Arcanas? I want them to all be together and in the huge shed that will house them all easily with heat and everything, but I am afraid to do it after all of the horror stories I have read. I am a bit nervous now and confused because of all the things that are suggested. How do I know what to really do? 3. should I keep them separate past quarantine and at this time also get rid of any that are roosters? Will only one roo be ok with like a possible 25-30 hens? I really am afraid to put another roo in there, I love my Jenner and would cry big tears if anything happened to him. He is Beautiful. I also don't want any of my babies hurt, I understand the pecking order, but the timing is where I am hung up. there are so many suggestions, how do I know what is best for my new babies? I would greatly appreciate any help. By the way I live in Indiana just south of Indy. I will be so happy to hear from anyone please.

    thanks,
    ChickWoman(Bev)
     
  2. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I might have missed it, how large in square feet is your shed? 30 hens is alot, but unless you are looking at hatching more chicks, or you free range, a rooster is mostly just for you and has no effect on your hens.
    The shed itself is probably going to be to small for all those birds. Yes you can intergrate them, but unless you get more space there will be lots of fighting.
    As far as needing elecricity, your adult birds do not need heat, they do just fine without it. Chicks need warmth, but once grown, heat is no longer nessisary.
     
  3. animalwild

    animalwild Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had 21 chickens in just a smaller run and coop and they all lived in it comfortably so I wouldn't worry to much about space just remember the rule of thumb is one square foot for every chicken. Maybe you could add on to your shed. I have two roosters a big guy then a little bantam and they get along perfectly. If you decide to put these new chickens in with your older ones just make sure that they are in a separate area like an enclosed area but that they still can see each other to get used to having new chickens. That's all the advice I can give and good luck
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I hate to be the one to correct a fellow poster, but the recommended space allowance per chicken is ten square feet of run space and less than half that in the coop housing. Perhaps the previous poster is thinking about roosting space which is one foot per. But I recommend more to allow for flapping wings when trying to hop up onto the perch.

    Once you have decided whether or not you will need to get Mr Wonderful Guy to build you a new coop and expand the run to accommodate all those new babies, there's no need for anxiety over how you will be able to integrate them into your existing flock.

    In fact, I put all the instructions on how to go about doing it into an article and it's linked below under "Articles by Azygous" It's the second one.

    To make it super easy and more advantageous to the chicks' development, you can begin right now by creating a safe pen for them inside the chicken shed. If you do not have electricity to it, you will need to get a long extension cord from the nearest outlet. I recommend, not a heat lamp to brood the chicks, but a heating pad. Maybe two with that many chicks. Go over to the Raising Baby Chicks Forum and read through he thread "Mama Heating Pad for the Brooder." It shows how to set up your heating pad cave and even deals with brooding large numbers later in the thread.

    This system simulates a broody hen for the chicks to warm under. It's very natural and the advantages are too numerous to elaborate on here. (Read my article.) But the biggest advantage is the chicks are accepted into the flock by proximity from the very first day. This makes integration in a few weeks much easier and safer.

    The trouble with brooding away from the adult flock is that the chicks grow up without knowing and understanding the adult chickens, and the chicks are strangers to the adults once you do introduce them, and that's why people run into so many problems when they try to put them all in together.

    The article lays out the whole process and I even have pictures so it's easy to understand how it all works. So read it through carefully and see if you think it could work for you.

    I wish you the best of luck with your new additions to the flock!
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC Bev!

    Size of coop and run(feet by feet)would help...pics would help even more.
    You might be able to split the coop into separate sections with a temporary wire wall.

    OMGosh....he brought home 23 new chicks :-O...where are you keeping them?!
     

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