many questions about current chickens and what to get next

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by new&learning, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. new&learning

    new&learning Out Of The Brooder

    i am still just in my first year of chickens. i am ofcourse wanting to expand. LOL i have a 8x8 coup with a 3x8 raised inside area inside the coup. we are planning to build about 20 foot out on one side and 10 foot on the other side for run areas. with that being said now i will be able to section off the 3x8 area under their inside area to be the shelter for the 10 foot side. am i being tooo confusing? hope not. so with the 10' run side, i would lke to raise some babies to send to freezer camp at 8 weeks(not in the winter).right now i have 3 EE hens(lay good and very calm) 2 salmon faverolles and 1 grumpy SF rooster. my questions...
    1. should i just let who ever have babies for eatting?
    2. should i get better egg producers to keep as my egg machines and hope i get a broody hen to raise some eatters?
    3. can i have more than one broody mom with babies in that 8x10 area?
    if i got another breed..
    4. which breed would be polite to me, egg machines, large eggs, will raise babies, and have babies that are different colors for the different sexes?
    with the large run (8x20)plus the 8x8 covered area
    5. how many chickens could i comfortably get in there for my egg layers?

    thank you in advance for any and all advice...i need all i can get...thanks
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    1. No. If your goal is to process at 8 weeks then you will need to look at meaties specifically Cornish crosses. These you will have to buy from a hatchery because no one is really sure what their mixes are and nobody has their breed lines which are a closely guarded secret. These guys are a mess! They are eating, pooping machines that are prone to multiple health problems and need special care and raising. If you are interested in culling extra roos from your own flock then they will need a much longer grow out time than just 8 weeks. The problem with the dual purpose birds is that they can take forever to reach their full size. You try to butcher them before they reach that size and you get a bag of bones with very little meat on it.
    2. I like egg producers. I have 30 birds currently and I've got 2 broodies in the bunch. It is not possible to hatch your own meaties because even if you keep a pair of meat birds that came from a hatchery they don't breed true, so any eggs they lay may or may not be as good as the parents, and the further out you try to go the more variation from the ideal you will get.
    3. Broodies will often share duties if they are close, but I don't know much about hatching eggs because I don't generally let my eggs hatch. I keep my population numbers in close check. Next year I will hatch out 6 babies and that will be it.
    4. Cochins are known for going broody. I have a broody BO and GLW- also breeds known for going broody. All lay great eggs and are dual purpose birds so can go into the pot when they are worn out.
    5. How ever many you want for the space you have. I have 30 birds- 19 chickens, 10 ducks and 1 goose. I get an average of 14 eggs/day at this point (goose isn't laying because she's seasonal, 5 hens molting, 1 just stopped brooding, couple pullets not yet laying). That's a good number of eggs for me.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I had two Buff Orpingtons go broody within a day of each other, I put eggs under both of them at the same time and they hatched together, and shared the chicks. I am not so sure how it would work, if there were baby chicks at different stages. I have heard and read about train wrecks, with two mamas.

    I did have crossbred mutts. I did butcher them at 18 weeks, and there was some meat, but they could have gone longer, but I was running out of room for them. They did not hatch till the end of July. The older they get, the more room they need. Mama had them eating bugs within two days. It would have worked nicer had they hatched in early May, but a hen goes broody according to her schedule not yours.

    I am thinking that as I have mixed crossbreeds, I might start losing on the egg production. It is not critical to me to have high egg production, but I like getting steady eggs. The red star chickens were good egg producers for me, they are crossbreeds, but just a first cross and I think I will get some more of them. I like my Buff Orpingtons too. They were my broodies. I have 3 pullets now, that are pretty mixed, came from non pure blood parents, will see this spring how the egg productions goes.

    Some of this you have to give it a try and see what happens.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010

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