New at this

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sbaker, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. sbaker

    sbaker In the Brooder

    Feb 10, 2008
    VA Soutwest
    We are in VA near the Ky state line.

    Hubby decided he wanted chickens for eggs and meat plus we raw feed our dogs. We have ordered 25 (straight run) Delaware chicks should be here the first week in April.

    We are taking an old rabbit hutch 20 ft long and 6 feet wide and turning that into the chicken coop. We raised rabbit until last year have 2 pets left. We also raise quail and will be adding pheasants also this year.

    My couple of questions
    We have read that you have to keep your hens that will be hatching their eggs ways from everyone else is this true?

    Also about how many hens will we need to keep to supply our family of 4 plus about 4 neighbors with eggs

    We plan on keeping 2-3 hens to hatch out eggs with to supply meat for us and the dogs

    On to reading older post to learn some more
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    If you mean should you keep broody hens with eggs/chicks away from the main flock, yes, it's a good idea so the chicks won't be killed by other flock members. However, your hens may never go broody. Broodiness has been bred out of most hatchery birds in favor of egg production. Even many Buff Orps, known for being broody, never do go broody. Only one of mine ever has.

    Oh, and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Welcome to the forum.

    Don't count your broody hens yet. Not every chicken will go broody and raise her babies. Delawares can go broody but there is also the chance they won't.

    If one does go broody and has a clutch of eggs it is nice to have a place you can set aside for her to sit. As well as a place away from the other chickens when her babies hatch.

    Straight run means you will get whatever they grab. You could end up with 24 cockerals and 1 pullet in a worst case senerio. Hopefully your odds will be better than that.

    As cockerals mature into roosters more than 1 in a hen house is asking for trouble. Blood shed is not pretty.

    2 or 3 hens to go broody and provide you with meat and eggs is very limited. from 2 or 3 the chances are you will get some eggs and probably not an egg a day from each. Not all hens lay every single day. some do, some don't.

    If you want meat and eggs you need to maintain a larger flock at all times. Some hens for laying. some chicks raised for meat.

    It all sounds simple and easy but to tell you the truth unless you are in this thing for the long haul you won't sustain your meat and eggs on a few hens. You are going to have to invest in maintianing some good stocks. You probably won't save any money raising your own either.
  4. Yogiman

    Yogiman Songster

    Feb 2, 2008
    South Louisiana
    Welcome to the forum. Glad to have ya' here. You have definately come to the right place to learn about chickens.

    I just thought I knew something about them until I came here. These wonderful folks on here are all pros and have a chicken madness something fierce.

    I was going to recommend that you consult Miss Prissy but I see that she has already responded to your post. She is faster than greased lightning on that keyboard. lol

    She will give you excellent and professional advise that is practical and you can take it to the bank, if you know what I mean.

    Good luck with your flock and welcome.
  5. sunnychooks

    sunnychooks Songster

    Jul 21, 2007
    Welcome to BYC! We're glad you're here!

    You should also be aware that as your hens get older, they will not produce as many eggs. You may want to consider rotating your flock yearly if egg production is important to you.
  6. hcammack

    hcammack Crowing

    Oct 5, 2007
    I have delaware's and I like mine. they are 12 weeks old. they are a good duel purpose breed I just have hens for eggs I have 3 delawares and 9 of other breeds. I agree that 2-3 hens is to few to provide eggs for eating and you can't depend on hens hatching chicks for you. You should probably keep at least 6-7 hens for egg production for just your family. You should also buy and incubator because hens will never go broody when you want them too or mabe even at all.
    Good luck sounds like a great project.
  7. sbaker

    sbaker In the Brooder

    Feb 10, 2008
    VA Soutwest
    incubators we have where we raise quail.
    I probably should have worded my post better. I don't expect to not to have to buy eggs or chicken from the store once we get set up but being able to supply some of it ourselves is what we are looking for.

    Thanks everyone for the welcome and advise

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