Now I've gone over the deep end! What am I doing?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by midget_farms, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. midget_farms

    midget_farms Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    Of course it all started out with a bunch of random hens I could buy locally.

    The random ones got old or ate up by predators (I have almost all of them & I free range)

    Then last year I ordered 25 chicks online. It was too expensive though - $100 for 25 chicks shipped? too much.

    Anyway - there were aracauna, buff orpington, polish & silkies (buff & black)

    All the while I still had my original free rooster russell.

    Anyway - same story - everything on the planet likes chicken - especially polish! They don't see it coming.

    I sold off the boys & a number of the girls too - keeping the silkies for brood masters & the buffs for egg production & the aracauna for the cool color. It makes it fun to talk about because most of our friends think raising chickens is similar to living on the moon.

    Anyway - long story - this year instad of buying more chicks I decided to build my own incubator & hatch them.

    That was going well until my trusty rooster was eaten by a coyote just before new year.[​IMG]

    Now I have to buy eggs. Yuck.

    But what to buy????
    Something cheap for sure. Eggs on ebay can get a little out of hand + shipping + they may all die anyway!

    I found a nice seller though of Black Australorp eggs & he sold me 40 + 8 extras for less than $1 each (barely) including shipping. But I really wanted those cool dark eggs. Man they are expensive!

    I finally won an auction for Welsummer. I have 10 in the incubator right now. Of course they are too dark to see through.

    Anyway - I figure half will hatch - thats 5 wellies & 24 Australorps - half of those will be roosters.

    So that will leave (total speculation here ) maybe 2 wellie hens & 1 rooster & maybe 12 Australorp hens. So maybe 15 I plan to keep. I have 10 in the coop now so that will be the limit.

    So today - I see an ad for a mated pair of black copper marans. Hmm - so I agreed to buy them - now I just need to bring them home (I know about the quaranteen)

    So - I was thinking I could keep the wellies in the garden (I have a small brooder coop there & a nice fence) so they would breed true & I can sell the eggs as hatchers.

    Now I need a place for the marans too - & I want to cross the maran roo with my aracauna's so I can raise a batch of olive eggers.

    Do you see where this is going??? I'm going to have to sell the Australorp chicks - because there is no way I can keep this many birds! & keep them seperated so the breed true!

    All because my darn barny mix rooster got eaten. If I catch that coyote I'm making a coat.
  2. Sounds like you need a more secure, predator-proof coop and run for them. [​IMG]
  3. midget_farms

    midget_farms Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    Quote:I added the new coop this spring. It & the run are pretty secure now. Certainly nothing can get into the coop after dark.

    Its when they are free ranging around that the coyote's & hawks get them.
  4. hannakat

    hannakat Songster

    Jun 5, 2010
    Beaver County, PA

    We have a hawk that I'd like to make into a headdress.....oh well! Think of it this way....the coyote is still around and hungry. You might end up wishing you kept them all!
  5. midget_farms

    midget_farms Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    Update ** the seller of the marans decided to sell to someone else for a higher price (after we had an agreement I might add)

    So - I have just dodged the bullet of raising a thousand birds for cool colors of eggs.

    Maybe my welsummer rooster (if I get one) will help the aracauna's chicks lay dark green speckled eggs?
  6. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Songster

    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    That would be cool.
  7. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    So are you still planning on free ranging all of your new breeds?? given your record of having the best preditor buffet resturant in the county. Maybe free ranging isn't the best way to spend your money or should I say throw it away. wish you luck but somehow I think you may need more than luck or a bigger incubator.

  8. HorizonSon

    HorizonSon Songster

    Oct 5, 2010
    Pacific NW
    You definitely will want to consider free ranging each breed at different time frames or on alternating days all together. This will help guarantee "clean genes" as far as breed of offspring.


    Sounds like the Maran deal falling through ended up being a God-send, and successfully avoided the awkwardness of an "impulse buy".

    I must add; I'm very excited for you... and on behalf of all us BYC'ers; we better see lots 'n' lots of posted pics in the near future [​IMG]
  9. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2010
    I think that this forum has made me crazy as well. ---- Started with 12 random but they weren't cute enough so I started researching and found I wanted SLW and BLRW... Of course I had to fall in love with the rarest of breeds on this adventure. [​IMG] Found that shipping was cheaper if you bought them in large quantities bought 35 SLW and 30 BLRW- BLRW never came... But SLW are looking good.

    Here is the crazy part. Bought silkies for the kids and after several dog attacks... my dog [​IMG] Silkies were in with the chicken attacked so I have promised the kids more silkies for this spring. I still want my BLRW. DH has now piped in and states he wants buff collored chickens and so I keep looking around for all these. Mindful the roosters that were supposed to go to freezer camp are still around (2 did go but I don't have the heart for the rest), Bought ducks for DH and may have bought too many at once and those drakes that were intended for freezer camp are still here. I right now have 30 chickens, and 33 ducks and am thinking of adding at least 30 chickens but if I have to be honest what I really was thinking was more on the lines of 60.

    I think that I need a good [​IMG] The good news is that I have really looked at what I want and I think I know what # I want for an ideal flock. 10-15 silkies for the kids, 15 SLW, 15 BLRW, 15 Buff, and 15 other (giving myself wiggle room that I know I will need) And I NEED to go through the ducks and cull to 15.

    I know most won't see this as a problem but... We have too much room here, there are too many buildings sitting empty and through wading through BYC I have come to dream of how I would turn each empty shed into a chicken coop as it is I know I could still pack in about 100 birds into the barn without a real problem.... My feed budget would but the space isn't the issue.... [​IMG] At some point DH is going to go out and count chickens and not be happy with me. Plus I keep my eyes on craigslist and have found that within only a short (2-3 hour) drive I could have what I want in chickens. I need to stop myself but.... Finding... it .... so... Hard.... to... Do... [​IMG]

    Going out into the -20's today and this will deter me from finding more chicks to raise! Ok that and buying feed for them, sticker shock when I stocked up for the month of Jan and needed $200 since I usually go every other week to the feed store and buy it in smaller amounts. How does everyone else cull their chickens?
  10. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

    Sep 4, 2009
    Miget - You are preaching to the choir here. This is the most enabling group of crazy chicken people you will ever find. So, don't go looking here for someone to suggest reining in your obsession.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Mommyofthree : It is probably a good thing I don't have the housing or I would be in the same boat as you. However, I had 160 chickens last summer and I am down to 50 right now with 15 more to get rid of. I butchered or sold most of them, and lost a couple of them along the way. Craigslist was where most of them went. If you have birds to butcher, advertise on CL. Aren't you in Austin? It would be a little far for the Cities market. Too bad, there are always folks up there who will buy live birds for eating.
    Good luck.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011

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