Picking and choosing...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mandelyn, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2009
    Goshen, OH
    It's bird moving day! We finished 4 stalls in the barn so that we can empty out the brooder shed and get prepped for the Spring batch. As I was cleaning it last night, "that one hen", a sweet little Orpington was my constant companion. There is one in every batch! She's a keeper.

    Will be sorting them based on gender, who stays and who goes. We have 33 to make a decision on. Looks like 14 males to be fattened up. Will be trying out a bachelor group for the first time. We're coming from an urban setting, all prior batches had the males sold or just given away earlier on.

    This is our first Spring season on the farm, trying new methods with the improved space.

    This is the first place I haven't free ranged, but until we have perimeter fencing that's the way it has to be. Too many loose dogs and a much higher coyote threat. We haven't lost any yet and we've been here since last September.

    I'm always amazed at how in every single group, there is always that one bird that wants to be your friend, no matter how little you messed with them as babies. I was as hands off as I could be in case we really do process these males. I didn't want to have too many favorites.

    So far two have made an impression, one female and one male. I came home from work one day to a rooster walking around in the kitchen. I looked at my husband in question... and he says "Oh, that's Russel. Russel Crow."

    What?

    Russel had his tail feathers plucked out and he was getting attention for it. I taught husband about blue kote. Russel is as good as new now, and he doesn't mind us at all. Perhaps he can live with a group of layers, he's built on the scrawny side though, just an EE.

    But... I already have a layer flock king, my rooster Cluck Norris, who offers the prettiest barred feathers, Olive egg coloration, and a nice width of body for better utility in resulting chicks.

    Will need to decide if we're going to set up Russel in his own group, see if Cluck will accept him if there are ample females, or ignore our feelings about it and send him on his way, since we will always have a surplus of males. Cluck has 2 hens now, but there are 19ish females waiting in the wings. Plenty to go around!

    Soon we'll have the biggest flock I've ever tended. Historically I stopped at 50 bantams. Currently sitting at 36 and another 30 coming in a month. No bantams this go around.
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    LOL, "Russel Crow" LOL. Have fun. This is me and what I do---for the rooster grow out pen I always worm and I want them to have some room but not a huge open area where they exercise to much. Seems to put weight on them faster and possibly keeps them tenderer--but I always sell them.

    I wish you lived close a year or so ago---you could have come over one day just to help feed my small flock I had in 67 chicken pens--only 1232 chickens I had at that time---that would have given you the feel or a little bigger flock-----before you get that many----LOL
     

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