Need a bit of advise to get started.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HeatherLynn, May 13, 2009.

  1. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2009
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    So wish I had found this site before I bought my first chicks this year but I didn't so now I am trying to get things going in the right direction again.

    Right now I have 8 golden comet pullets, and 6 easter egger pullets and 6 barred rock roosters ( still irritated on that one)

    Ok so a few people have talked how they raise their own chicks. Don't bring chicks from else where in. That got me thinking just a bit.

    Part of my worry is bringing in some illness and losing the ones I have. I don't like getting attatched and things dying on me. So I was thinking maybe I need to keep at least one rooster at my parents farm. I do have one barred rock that I just adore so he would be one but how would that work with the hens I have? I'm assuming I would have mutts. Thats ok as long as they lay well and are not sickly. Maybe I should raise my own. Set up my flock, let the chosen ones have any babies I would need and skip the worry in the future of bringing in a sick chick.

    My husband said he will " deal with" any of the roosters. I just need to decide if I want to raise my own and give him blueprints for a set up at the farm for the roosters and their potential mates during 'visits'

    I'm also looking at some golden sex links since I have fewer girls that I originally thought. Suggestions? I like variety so deciding on one is so hard but there is limited space and funding to do everything so I need to narrow it down a bit. What do you do with different bred hens and only one or two roosters? I am assuming sex links don't breed true if I make everyone a mutt.
     
  2. sfw2

    sfw2 Global Menace

    Since you'll be raising "designer chickens" (sounds so much more upscale than "mutts" [​IMG]) anyway, there's no reason to limit yourself to just one breed. There are lots of good egglaying breeds out there, so you could pick a variety.

    I'm not sure why you're thinking of keeping your roo separate from your flock, unless it's a neighborhood issue. It sounds like you're planning on taking selected hens out to the farm for "conjugal visits" [​IMG], but it would probably be less distruptive for the hens' laying schedule, etc. to keep everyone together, if possible.
     
  3. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its neighborhood issues. Ordinance against roos. I think its kind to say I was mislead when I purchased some pullets recently. 6 turned out to be a different breed than I was told and I still have terrors they are male also. The other 6 turned out to be all males. I am struggling with this getting rid of some just cause they are male.

    I want to produce my own babies I think though. I won't mislead myself. Well not on purpose anyway. Just want to make sure mixing breeds like this won't leave me with a big mess on my hands. So just wondering how best to set this up and if using one of the barred rock boys I have with those breeds would still leave me with some reasonable egg layers.
     
  4. chickens3

    chickens3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i got my chickens and they i found this website.
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Many on here let their breeds mix. The results can only be predicted to a point. But if you breed good egg laying breeds to each other, most likely you will get more good egg layers. Some argue that mixing breeds can often make stronger birds -- "hybrid vigor." Others object to the idea of not keeping breeds pure. Your choice, of course.

    Sex links and EE's are already mutts, so no, they will not breed true.

    Good luck.
     
  6. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I went from mutt dogs to mutt chickens. I might not wanna tell my husband that. He'll start envisioning me picking up chickens off the side of the road. hmmm
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I agree with ddawn and I personally like mutts. After a couple of generations you have no idea what colors or patterns you will get but if you breed good egglayers you will probably get good egg layers. Often they have good personalities too.

    I think I see a couple of potential problems for you. EE and Golden Comets are not known to be broody hens. It depends on the individual hen, but I would not count on either of these going broody. The eggs will hatch and produce good chickens, but they usually don't go broody. With that in mind, if you do get more hens, I'd recommend Orpingtons or Cochins. Those breeds are known for going broody. Still no guarantees, but your odds would increase tremendously. Another option is to get an incubator. If you do hatch your own chickens, half will probably be roosters.

    Something else to consider is that when you move a hen to a new location, she may stop laying for a while. If you keep a rooster at your parents farm and take the hens for a visit, you might not get any eggs for a while. You can usually count on an egg being fertile three days after mating and any eggs laid for two weeks after mating will probably be fertile. You also cannot count on a rooster mating with all hens in a flock immediately. He does have some limitations, whether he knows it or not. You might need to leave a rooster and a few laying hens at your parents farm to get fertile eggs. Also, transporting hens back and forth would be like introducing new hens to your flock. Kind of defeats the purpose.

    Another option is to get fertile eggs from another flock.

    Another option is to keep a rooster at your parents and learn how to artificially inseminate a chicken. I don't know how to do this, but I'm sure someone on this site does. Could make for interesting visits to your parent's farm to work with the rooster.

    I probably haven't made life any easier for you and I'm sorry for that. I hope you can work it out.
     

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