Keeping breeds seperate

LongRanch

Chirping
Apr 17, 2016
149
5
54
I have a question for breeders with multiple breeds. How do you handle breeding seperate breeds? We are moving to an acerage next year, and I figure I'll set up a huge run/coop for my purebred hens, and another run/coop for all my roosters and my mixed breed hens... Then seperate breeding pens for when I want my purebred hens to rendezvous with a same breed rooster.. But then I was thinking, well gosh, if I have a huge incubator and want eggs from every breed, and have a lot of breeds, that'll be a lot of work, moving chickens back and forth from breeding pens. But it will also be a lot of work to build runs/coops for each seperate breed and have them separated all the time. How do you do it?? I feel like I'm missing some common sense approach, lol
 

Gray Farms

Conserve Heritage Breed Livestock
5 Years
Apr 11, 2016
14,350
19,103
647
NW Missouri
I raise 22 different breeds and keep the separated year round. I have a 30x50 building with 4'x12' pens down each side. Pens are set up with automatic waters and feeders built into the doors. Works great for me. I realize not everybody has access to a large barn. I'd say small coops are gonna work for you.
 

LongRanch

Chirping
Apr 17, 2016
149
5
54
Aw I like my birds to have access to lots of land. Right now my small flock of 11 has about 1/6th acre to themselves. We just put an offer on a house with 5 acres. I'll have to do some math.
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My husband is not going to want to build that many coops lol
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,057
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Southern Oregon
Sounds like you need to start small, with just one or two breeds. You can work your way up from there.

There's not an easy way to do this, you're not missing anything.

I have 7 pens going right now, and an 8th setting in the driveway partially finished
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. The main pen has a rooster and hens, some extra hens, and the juveniles. I have a cockerel there that's approaching breeding age I'm going to have to pull out cause he's not the same breed as the hens, but I do think he's a keeper. The other cockerels get butchered as they approach breeding age. That's something to keep in mind also, what's your plan for all the males?

The other pens are smaller, and have quads or quints for breeding. The thing to keep in mind is, for breeding, you don't need a dozen hens of the particular breed. Keep the 4 best and use those, with your best rooster. If the rooster is a nice bird, and the hens have good healthy feathers, they can do fine in a smaller breeding pen.

You can free range on alternate days, or build larger runs to give them more space.

Keep in mind if you're incubating a lot, you'll also need grow out pens, unless your main pen has tons of room and a tolerant rooster and hens to raise the littles.

Here's a link to my breeding pens. The middle is my grow out pwn currently...

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1003092/my-breeding-pens
 
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LongRanch

Chirping
Apr 17, 2016
149
5
54
Thanks
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It's helpful to see other peoples' setups. I already have several breeds lol.
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I'll find a way to make it work. Can't wait to be on an acreage!
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,057
581
Southern Oregon
I'm right there with ya. We've been trying to move for a year and keep running into obstacles. I'm not so interested in the new house, but I spend hours dreaming about my new breeding pen set up!
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,986
37,588
1,096
southern Michigan
My coop / run can be divided into four sections, and I thought it would work out for breeders. Now I'm not so sure, especially as I started a third project for next spring. More pens might happen then! Mary
 

Mini Meat

Songster
5 Years
Nov 17, 2014
452
177
166
SF bay area (south bay)
My Coop
My Coop
Sounds like you need to start small, with just one or two breeds. You can work your way up from there.

There's not an easy way to do this, you're not missing anything.

I have 7 pens going right now, and an 8th setting in the driveway partially finished
big_smile.png
. The main pen has a rooster and hens, some extra hens, and the juveniles. I have a cockerel there that's approaching breeding age I'm going to have to pull out cause he's not the same breed as the hens, but I do think he's a keeper. The other cockerels get butchered as they approach breeding age. That's something to keep in mind also, what's your plan for all the males?

The other pens are smaller, and have quads or quints for breeding. The thing to keep in mind is, for breeding, you don't need a dozen hens of the particular breed. Keep the 4 best and use those, with your best rooster. If the rooster is a nice bird, and the hens have good healthy feathers, they can do fine in a smaller breeding pen.

You can free range on alternate days, or build larger runs to give them more space.

Keep in mind if you're incubating a lot, you'll also need grow out pens, unless your main pen has tons of room and a tolerant rooster and hens to raise the littles.

Here's a link to my breeding pens. The middle is my grow out pwn currently...

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1003092/my-breeding-pens
I agree with this ^.

You don't need a lot of chickens to raise a lot of chicks. You do need a lot of freezer space because half will be cockerels and hard to sell or re-home.

I think a lot depends on why you want to breed chickens.
If breeding seriously, for show, sale or conservation, then I would recommend you do one breed and get to know that breed very well. Breeding QUALITY birds is a lot harder than just breeding chickens... a lot.

Learn how to manage one breed really well and if the work and planning are worth it to you then think about expanding into other breeds.

I am converting a large building into coop space. Boy did I bite off a lot. The link is in my signature. I have made more progress then the thread shows (I need to do an update)

Good luck
 

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