Need advice on starting new flock...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Flyboy718, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Flyboy718

    Flyboy718 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 27, 2011
    Going to put some chickens at my mothers house...she has 11 acres. Her yard proper is probably about an acre to acre and a half. How many chickens would be a good start for her to have a sustainable flock? I am new to free range chickens, as I live in a different location and have a small backyard flock in the city. I am going to build her a coop and just let the chickens free range...there are some a few dogs about a half mile away as well as the neigboor a few hundred yards away has a cocker spaniel, and hawks are around and that's about it as far as daytime predators go. Was thinking of either Barred Rocks or Black Australorps.
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sustainable may need to be better defined on your part. In respect to what a yard will support in the form of a free-ranging flock provided a nutritionally complete diet and that is not expected to impact appearance of yard, then I suggest aboout a dozen birds with a couple roosters in mix. Biggest concern will be predator management. Your mother needs a dog that sleeps near roost.
     
  3. Flyboy718

    Flyboy718 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She has a yellow lab...a very smart one at that and I have a feeling might protect them. Sustainable, for her meaning...couple roosters to fertilize and hatch a few eggs a year that can be brought into the egg laying rotation after retiring the older layers. So, baiscally flock to provide a little meat and eggs. To clarify the feeding...yes on providing regular commercial feed as a choice, but free range them.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    A dozen is a good number for times when egg production is seasonally reduced but will give more eggs than one person can handle during peak. A one acre patch will be pushed to support hen raised chicks without use of chick starter and grower. Latter concern is where sustainable get fuzzy.
     
  5. twisted troy

    twisted troy Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree with 12, I have a family of six with four teenagers and 12 keep me in eggs for us and I generally have enough to make my dog/chickens omeltes and give some eggs away.

    Keep in mind that if you can't eat all the eggs or give them away, you can scramble them up for the chickens and it's good for them.

    My flock grows to about 20-25 sometimes more but I never get below 12 or so. One being a rooster.
     
  6. twisted troy

    twisted troy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2010
    Just noticed the lab part....keep in mind this is a bird dog and if it's not familiar with chickens your going to have to train it to leave them alone....probably. My lab leaves them alone now but at first he wanted to chew on them. It took some work.
     

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