I have NO IDEA how to build my flock w/o going overboard :(

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by slackwater, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. slackwater

    slackwater Songster

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    So...I started w/some hatchery birds (RIRs, BOs, BSLs, NHRs, BRs, etc). Went the standard dual-purpose, heavy laying breed route. Then, fell in love w/BLRWs. And then cochins (GL and BBS). Oh, and can't forget the SLWs and GLWs. Have a few Polish b/c DH wants some "cool-looking" chickens. Add to that EEs and Ams and some Marans...and now I want some Orps. I mean, chicken math is one thing, but...I can't seem to stop myself! I was aiming for some 30-40 layers, but now I also want to breed Marans for meat birds, olive-eggers, BLRWs and cochins...

    I have NO IDEA how some people pick a breed or two and just go with that. My problem is, I like the blues...and the laces. And then I like ones w/cool featherings. Oh, and ones that lay cool-colored eggs are good too. So are good meat birds.

    Is there some formula that I can create that will make sense? I am to have a free-ranging flock at some point, so there will be multiple roos. I guess I will have plenty of hens to go with them, but...

    Does it all ever seem like too much? I can't even count them anymore! And I have MORE EGGS coming!
     

  2. goldnchocolate

    goldnchocolate Songster

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    So-o-o-o many breeds.........so-o-o-o little time [​IMG]

    I really can't advise you because I'm having the same problem myself [​IMG]. I started hatching eggs in April, hatched 4 separate batches and here it is almost the end of July and I'm just finishing up integrating all of the different age groups into the main flock. WHERE has this summer gone to?? I love variety (colors and breeds) in my flock because I just love to look at them and watch them scratching around or sunning themselves, etc.
     
  3. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Songster

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    I think if you want specific colorations, you are best to buy pullets of that specific color. If you want to hatch, stick to the number of breeds that you have housing to isolate for breeding. You only have to isolate for a month plus however long it takes to lay the number of eggs you want to hatch. Or you can rotate the isolation but you can't really free range conveniently and hatch specific breeds unless you really have a schedule and tame chickens and space to isolate!
    Chicken math is probably more complicated than trigonometry.
     
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Well, that's pretty easy.....just stop buying birds and treat your flock like a practical long term investment and not a hobby. Pick some pretty dual purpose birds and choose for hardiness, good egg laying, meaty builds and then just cull for these tendencies.

    I know pretty or unusual birds are fun to look upon but they are just not practical in today's economy and if one is wanting to build a good working flock.
     
  5. math ace

    math ace Crowing

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    I just got rid of two hens because they were meaner than the rest. I got 4 new chicks.

    I know I have too many - - - and I will thin as I go. I keep my goal - - EGGS - - - in mind I make choices about my flock.
    A little eye candy is GREAT, but it is not my main goal.

    So, my SLW wyandotte is my EYE Candy and she goes broody which helps with any hatching.
    My EE's lay almost everyday - - KEEPER
    My leghorns lay everyday - - KEEPER.

    My welsummers, partridge rocks, and speckled sussex are still pullets.
    When they start laying, I will decide who lays the best, has the best personality, etc and that is who stays.

    My family can eat 3 dozen eggs a week. My neighbors can consume another 2 dozen a week.
    (I make sure my neighbors are supplied eggs and in return I hope there are no complaints over the roo crowing)

    Anything more than this is too many eggs for us.
    5 dozen eggs a week means I can have 10 - 11 hens.
     
  6. slackwater

    slackwater Songster

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    Quote:Easier said than done [​IMG]

    I currently have two flock mentalities - one is a good working flock, and one is pretty. [​IMG] Not the right answer, I know. Good thing they are all edible if they don't work out!

    And my flock is BOTH a long-term investment and a hobby. It is both a means of providing food and a means of providing mental respite. So...I guess a few impractical birds are a somewhat necessary indulgence for me [​IMG]
     
  7. KellyHM

    KellyHM Crowing

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    In time you'll figure out what you like based on breed, color, and personality. You can always cut down when you need to (and when you realize your feed bill is through the roof!). I went from my first 4 chickens to close to 200 within 6 months b/c I loved hatching and I kept finding more breeds that were cool. 2 years later I am now down to my Silkies (b/c they're so cute and broody), bantam Cochins/Frizzles (b/c they're pretty good layers, have great personalities, and are also adorable), and EEs (b/c I love the variety and they lay well, plus my original 3 are in that group) with a couple random egg layers thrown in. Also, if I get overrun with Silkie or Frizzle eggs they always sell well as hatching eggs, plus the bantams eat less and therefore cost less to maintain. I've gone through Marans, Polish, RIR, BO, standard Cochins, etc and gotten rid of most of them for various reasons. Trial and error!
     

  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    My working flock is beautiful and are more so because I know they are also functional. I added some pretty colors this year with the addition of Barred Rocks, RIRs, Speckled Sussex, and Partridge Rocks. I already had Black Aussies, White Rocks, NHRs, a few Red Stars and Doms.

    It seems you have already solved your problem...you have accepted the fact that you want two separate things in your flock and you have decided to indulge both those needs. So, in effect, you don't feel like spending money on decorative birds is a bad thing and it brings you much pleasure...hence, for you, this is not "going overboard". [​IMG]
     
  9. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    I wish there was 'tried and true' formula! I have no idea how to to it either...I am having the same problem. When I first started, I only wanted 4 or 5 hens. Dh said, well if you are gonna have them for eggs, 6 so we have enough eggs for the two of us. I couldn't decide on the breeds I NEED... Came here and got no help LOL only encouragement to purchase them all....Then he decided he would build the coop large enough for a dozen but made it large enough for 17 heavy breeds. I ended up w/ Buff Orpingtons, RIR, Barred Rocks --that would satisfy my brown egg breeds--some pale, some tan and some darker brown.. and then I purchased true Ameraucanas for blue eggs and EE --I hoped-for green eggs.. Over the year, I have lost a few of each breed leaving me w/ only 7 hens.. Then I decided I would find some more Ameraucanas.. Now I think I need BLW, bantam Cochins and Black Copper Marans.. Eye candy and egg color! BUTTTTT I don't have enough room for all I want/need...SO, I am either going to have to add one or two of each breed or build more small coops!!!
     
  10. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Crossing the Road

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    I know its so difficult, I have sooo many breeds I'm considering (dont have chickies yet but really want to get some eventually, hopefully soon), mostly egg layers but there are just so many out there!, but to me, I think theyre all beautiful and very cool, so I guess for me color and stuff doesnt really matter as much, as long as they lay well and have good tempermants, but I think i've pretty much narrowed it down to a few I definately want but its so hard cause I keep finding breeds I hadnt really seriously considered but am now kinda thinking oh maybe i should get one of those, I originally was thinking of getting like 5 or 6 hens, maybe more, probably up to like 10, but now theres so many breeds and im not really sure if i should just get 1 of each breed, dont really wanna do that, maybe 1 to try it or something but certainly more, like 2-3, on the breeds i really like and know I want so that 5 or 6 hens has quickly turned to more, and im like "whoa thats a lot i dont know if i should have that many chickies" but theyre all so cute and so pretty i like HAVE to have that many chickies, so it looks like this "future flock" of mine is gonna a lot more than 5 or 6 chickies, [​IMG] chicken math is so complicated!... [​IMG] but I'm sure you'll figure it out eventually, just go by what you need first then add the colors and stuff, not sure if thats overboard for you though since you know what you want, but, maybe you could have multiple coops?, chicken math is VERY complicated but im sure youll figure it out eventually! [​IMG] good luck! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010

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