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Need suggestions...Refreshing the flock and wanna try something new

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chippysmom327, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. chippysmom327

    chippysmom327 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 26, 2012
    Apollo, PA
    I'm actually asking this for a friend. They have about 25-50 RSLs that they're having problems with. They're eating eggs like crazy and are feather picking. I suspect nutrient deficiency but I can't really tell them to their faces that the reason their birds are doing this is because of them. Especially when they're older than me. They're wanting to send some of their current hens to freezer camp and start fresh in spring.

    They know I have a broody right now and asked how I got her to go broody because they haven't had any luck with incubators. I explained that I bought a bantam cochin as my designated broody because they're a very broody breed. She really doesn't know any breeds besides RSLs and BSLs. I then mentioned my roo and she was like "You have a rooster that's nice?!?" and when I bragged about how great he is she said she definitely wanted bantam cochins. I told her they're not good layers and she said she didn't want a whole flock of them then. We had a very long talk but you guys don't care.

    The bottom line is she wants new birds, and wants to try something new.

    Here are the requirements:
    *Cold hardy
    *Awesome layers
    *Docile Breed-friendly to kids and the other birds

    I'm thinking some barred rocks, wyandottes, marans, buff orps, and easter eggers with a bantam cochin or two.

    I want her to see the 'good rooster' light. She can probably have a few. I know BCM roos are striking and supposedly friendly, as well as EEs and orps.

    What do you guys think?
  2. Rhode Island Red hens are great, but the roosters can be cranky.
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 7, 2012
    Have her check out Dominiques. A lot depends on her style of chicken keeping. Does she keep them penned every day, or do they get out to free range? How many birds does she intend to keep? Is she currently keeping more birds than her space is set up for? You might want to introduce her to some alternative husbandry methods, including deep litter and fermented feed. Because of the problems that she's having with her existing flock, I'm inclined to wonder if her birds are over crowded, stressed, underfed/or don't have a balanced diet, and not able to get out to get the foraging time that would alleviate the bad behaviors she is having. All of these issues would be easier managed with a smaller flock and more education.
  4. chippysmom327

    chippysmom327 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 26, 2012
    Apollo, PA

    They have the RSL, so I kinda wanna get away from that red chicken. Show her what else the chicken world has to offer :)

    They have about 30 in a run, but its one of those portable electric netting pens. They eat food and oyster shell, and I don't know what else. I think they need a better diet for sure. I just don't know how to tell her. I want her to have some super docile breeds so that she can see what a nice flock is. Hers seems a little... aggravated. They're getting older and not laying as much and she plans to eat them soon. They (her family) eat all of their own meat.

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