Need some advice.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by eggslplicity, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. eggslplicity

    eggslplicity Just Hatched

    24
    1
    16
    Jun 27, 2016
    Decatur, Indiana
    I got started raising chickens about 2 years ago. We started out with 3 Production red hens. In april we got eight more. 2 Black Australorps , four Barred Rocks and 2 more production Reds one of which is a rooster ( affectionately known as Big Red ) [​IMG]. My question is with ten hens of various breeds and this RIR rooster what kind of flock would i end up with. They are all pretty solid egg producers of brown eggs. The next Roo could be a rir/ Australorp cross. Yet in my mind i think this could be a pretty good base to build a flock.

    Just looking for your input on this. Thanks
     
  2. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,455
    359
    228
    Mar 31, 2014
    Ohio
    Good morning & :welcome

    You will have what is known as a "backyard mix"! I have many of the same breeds you listed. They are all solid breeds that can withstand heat and cold. They are all good egg laying breeds and (quite frankly) dual purpose birds. Because you may hatch out a whole mess of barnyard mix roosters. We butcher our extra Roos, and these breeds are on the small side for meat, but in the crockpot with homemade noodles:drool
     
  3. eggslplicity

    eggslplicity Just Hatched

    24
    1
    16
    Jun 27, 2016
    Decatur, Indiana
    Thanks for your reply Outpost JWB. I know nothing of butchering chickens although i'm sure i could learn. I just figured on eating most of the eggs but with the 10 hens one is bound to go broody at some point and i could replace old non producing hens with new ones. I still have to be careful with all this because I do live in a housing addition out in the country. I have a permanent coop built into a garden shed and a huge 15'L x 4' wide x 2 1/2 ft tall chicken tractor with a 4 x 7 coop on it. this allows me to free range the birds to a fresh spot every day or two. So far nobody has complained about the rooster crowing...I thought about getting a no crow collar for him but have read some mixed reviews on them so am a little skeptical of trying that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    18,887
    6,299
    526
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    Just tossing in my 2 cents worth here: Yes, you will get some nice chicks from that mix. The joy of breeding your own is that you get to decide who stays and who goes. You decide what your flock goals are. In my case, I am breeding for: small combs, colorful egg basket, and non feathered feet. My roo provides all that and then some with his harem of ladies.

    Even with your tractor, I'm thinking that you are pretty maxed out with flock size. It could go up a bit in the summer, but you might want to keep it to 10 or so for the winter, unless you have green grass year round.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,129
    3,326
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You might want to investigate what your local rules and laws are about keeping chickens. Each locality has their own laws and restrictions, whether that is a state, county, town, or HOA. That way you are prepared if someone does complain. There may be something you can do that would make you legal that you don’t know about. I just think knowing what you are dealing with is a good thing. Not knowing leaves you vulnerable.

    As to what kind of flock you’ll have with BA, BR and Productions Reds with a PR rooster, a flock that lays pretty well. The genetics for laying are passed down by both the mother and father. Production Red is a generic name, more of a marketing name, certainly not a breed. I wound up with some and they were a little smaller than normal dual-purpose cockerels but different hatcheries make Production Reds different ways. Yours may be bigger. I put mine in the freezer a couple of days ago, they’ll still make a nice meal even if they were a tad smaller than some others. Production Reds are generally really good at laying so they will have those genetics.

    With that rooster your first generation of chicks will be either black or red. The sons of your BR will be barred, a black sex link. But if you don’t save a barred rooster at some point barring will disappear from your flock. Barring is a sex linked gene, mothers only give it to their sons but a rooster gives it to both sons and daughters.

    If you save a rooster from a red/black cross (BR is basically black with barring added) and mate him with pullets from a red/black cross it starts to get interesting. You’ll still get a lot of black chicks but your red chicks will be various shades and patterns. You may get golden reds, you may get dark reds. You might even wind up with mostly white chickens. If you save a barred rooster you might get red barred chickens. It all depends on what genetics your original parents had and which chickens you save for mating. I think it would make a pretty flock. And with those parents it should lay well. If you save larger roosters you can even get the cockerel butcher size up.

    Instead of keeping a rooster you can get fertile eggs if a hen goes broody. If you look on the Indiana thread in the “Where am I? Where are you!” section of this forum you can probably find someone local with fertile eggs. They might even know what your local rules are. You’ll still hatch out cockerels so you have to have a plan for those. There are just so many different was you could go.

    Good luck!
     
    2 people like this.
  6. eggslplicity

    eggslplicity Just Hatched

    24
    1
    16
    Jun 27, 2016
    Decatur, Indiana
    Sounds Like you gave good advice. In town we are limited to 12 birds but I am 3 miles outside town in a little 15 house addition WIth an acre lot so may not be any restiction on numbers yet I think a dozen birds is about right for me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  7. eggslplicity

    eggslplicity Just Hatched

    24
    1
    16
    Jun 27, 2016
    Decatur, Indiana
    [​IMG]

    Here is my chicken tractor. So my birds are contained yet are free range via the mobile coop. Its working out for us so far


    I see our little princess Mia is photobombing the shot :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2016
  8. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,455
    359
    228
    Mar 31, 2014
    Ohio
    Looks like a nice set up. Are you able to lock them in the building at night?
     
  9. eggslplicity

    eggslplicity Just Hatched

    24
    1
    16
    Jun 27, 2016
    Decatur, Indiana
    I don't lock them up in the building at night... mainly because i am working a swing shift so some days it may be noon or later before i get up. I raise the ramp when moving the tractor and realized i forgot to lower it one time but the chickens still got out of the coop. We have a pet beagle in a kennel that would go off if anything came into the yard and we have been fortunate thus far. The main coop and run we have, i laid big limestone rocks under landscape timbers and also under the shed to prevent any predators and that is where the birds will spend the winter. Motion activated ..lights out back may discourage them also. I'm not sure if an automatic door would work since the opening is in the floor of the coop. Admittedly it could be more secure.
     
  10. eggslplicity

    eggslplicity Just Hatched

    24
    1
    16
    Jun 27, 2016
    Decatur, Indiana
    [​IMG] Here is a photo from the end of coop showing nesting boxes
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by