managing a dual purpose flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hensonly, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY
    I just ordered a batch of chicks(25 straight run) which will grow into a dual purpose flock, hopefully mostly self-sustaining. I have two coops, adjacent, sharing a fence for part of their run. My current laying flock (8 hens, 1 roo) are in the smaller coop. The new chicks will go into the new, bigger coop. Since these are not fast-growing meat birds, whatever ones we butcher will be 4 - 5 months old. Will the young boys and the adult roo in the next pen try to fight through the wire? The openings are so small they won't be able to do any damage, but they could hurt themselves on the fencing. I could hang a tarp, but hate to block the morning sun from the one run in the winter.

    Second, if I pull several birds at once out of the dual purpose flock to butcher, will it upset the pecking order? Will the upheaval cause the hens to stop laying? I really don't have a third coop to separate the young roos early on...if I absolutely have to create a third coop, it would have to be a tractor, and we'd have to get going on it real fast, and I'd prefer to wait until spring, and put my current layers in the tractor, use the smaller coop where they are now to house broody hens/chicks.

    Whats yer thoughts, folks?

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