Hi there. I am coming up on an interesting conundrum... I have a decent flock right now consisting of 7 sex-link hens and one sex link roo, 2 RIR hens, 7 SLW hens, 3 EE's and 6 BR hens and one BR roo... Now, I'm working on a plan to be able to supply chicks here locally as i've been asked about a zillion times if I will have any chicks for sale this spring. I'm not interested in breeding the sex links, mostly because they don't breed true for their namesake purpose, and partly because i think they look yummy So what that leaves me with is BR's to breed for this spring. OK, so far. Now, I am going to put in an order to McMurray for the following breeds; -5EE hens and one Roo (for egg color and chicks) -1 SLW Roo (to breed chicks for sale) -13 Rose comb Brown Leghorns (12 hens and one Roo both for eggs and chicks) -5 Blue Cochins (I hear they go broody consistently) That should give me 4 breeds to choose from... and some really cute hens to brood them if mama doesn't want to. Alright... now here comes the Grand Plan for the spring of 2011... And please feel free to comment at will... I'm going to take 2 stalls from my barn and convert them into a coop and a brooding pen respectively, and move the existing coop (made out of a shed) closer to the barn to use as a breeding pen. The two stalls are right next to eachother, so my plan is to make a large pen adjacent to them on the outside of the barn and run a door from the coop stall out into this pen. I want to take the "love shack" and position it so that the breeding flock can access it as well, but I want to separate them from the main flock to ensure purity. so the idea here is to have a corner section of the larger pen fenced off for whomever I am allowing to shack up in it, and once they hatch their clutch, I can open the gate between the two pens and let them back into the main flock while putting the next breed in for their little honeymoon, and moving the chicks to the brooding stall to sell... is this going to work? Obviously I can't ensure purity when they have been running with the other roo's, but how long will i have to wait while they're together to know that I'm not getting Barred Wyandottes or some other weird little bugger? also, that's roughly 36 hens to 4 roos (not counting any possible cochin roo's I end up with, as they only come straight run) do you think that's going to cause all hell to break loose? will I have to just keep the roo's separate or something. I'd hate to put them in solitary. I could always leave the sex link hens for a while to keep the numbers a bit higher in the hen to roo ratio... wow... this is a novel... ummmmm.... and then they all lived happily ever after... the end.