My Grand Plan... or something like that.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by clucktastic, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. clucktastic

    clucktastic Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 9, 2009
    Pullman, Mi
    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 [​IMG] 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. [​IMG]
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Sounds like a great plan that should work.

    with time you could build more and larger breeding pens. you'll want to.
  3. chickenshagg

    chickenshagg THE ALPHA ROO

    Apr 18, 2009
    St. Charles, MO
    Sounds like your going to be busy. I hope you have some kind of chart to track who has gone where and when. That alone can get confusing. Are you only going to be selling one breed at a time or will you have the brooder pen sectioned off so that the different breeds of hatchlings don't get mixed up with each other?

    I'm not sure about this and others will probably answer more correctly but I have heard that a hen will remain fertile 10+ days after being mated by a roo.

    Good luck with your project!
  4. Laney

    Laney Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    Spring Hope, NC
    I have heard longer than that. My plan is to isolate the Hens I plan to breed until their eggs turn up infertile (I'll be eating them). Once they turn up infertile I'll put the Roo of my choice in the "Love Shack" with them. Then I'll collect the eggs I want to hatch and release the Mama.

    I plan to breed Mottled Java's and Delawares, so unless I have a broody cochin to use as a Mama in the Brooding Coop I will be using my incubator to hatch them. My Standard White Cochins did not go broody at all in their first season, but I did not get them until late April.

  5. Paganbird

    Paganbird CrescentWood Farm

    Apr 25, 2009
    Western Pa
    If you want to guarantee pure breeds, you should keep them separate for about a month before you consider the eggs to be pure. Are you going to have enough time to separate each breed for a month before allowing them to lay and hatch out chicks? (which will take another month.)
    That's roughly 2 months per breed. From date of separation to chick hatching. With 4 breeds, that's gonna be a little tough, I think. What if someone wants to buy pure Leghorn eggs, but it isn't their "turn"?
    Maybe I'm just not following the idea. It seems like a lot of work to me.
    I'd just build 4 small coops. Then you get pure breeds all the time, no fighting roosters, no pecking hens, no fuss with re-introducing chickens back to the flock.
    I like to keep things simple.
  6. clucktastic

    clucktastic Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 9, 2009
    Pullman, Mi
    that's an excellent point. I would ideally like to separate them into individual pens, but I'm thinking the cost of building another three coops would be a bit prohibitive... I do have three extra stalls in the barn that could be converted... so maybe that's just the ticket. The problem is getting all the random things that are stored in there from a life long pack ratting session into a new home... hemmmm... this is why I love this forum...

    think... think... and rethink...


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