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Self sustaining flock Questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mojoejoe, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. mojoejoe

    mojoejoe Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2014
    Ontario Canada
    Hi All
    I am considering starting a self sustaining flock with Barred Rock chickens. I'm interested in eggs and fairly good size meat birds. I understand the Barred rock are pretty good layers, and, grow fairly quickly to about 7 to 9 lbs.

    If I buy RTL pullets and purchase an older rooster this spring would the pullets reproduce this first summer, as in;
    Do young pullets ever go broody thier first year?
    If so would thier age contribute to them being successful mothers?

    Any thoughts, ideas, other options that anyone might recommend?

    Thanks
     
  2. Chicken Egg 17

    Chicken Egg 17 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you ever thought about buff orpingtons as they tend to go broody more often
     
  3. mojoejoe

    mojoejoe Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Roada Red. I did think of the Buff Orpington however they are harder to come by where I live. Also, right or wrong, I read that the Barred Rock were better at avoiding predators. I live in a rural area and there are a fair number of predators. I lost some egg layers last year to a fox when they were out free ranging during the day. They are locked in the coop at night.

    So do you think that young birds can or do go broody the first year?
     
  4. Chicken Egg 17

    Chicken Egg 17 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I haven't owned a barred rock who went broody, you can't just assume they will, so have a back up plan, either an incubator or a side flock of broody bantams. And you may have trouble with an older rooster with pullets, your best to raise the rooster with the girls. A mature rooster over young pullets could be frightening for them and the size difference too much.
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    They can, but they don't do it often. Broodiness depends on the breed, the age of the bird, the amount of light and the Broody Gods', and they are a fickle lot.

    Another consideration (I am not quite sure what you mean by RTL) is if they are pullets, there eggs are a bit small to hatch. You will get more no-goers with the smaller eggs. I think that there is an actual gram size that is recommended, but I just go with full size eggs.

    The thing is chickens are much more seasonal and notional than our grocery stores would have us believe. You really can't rush mother nature. But you can trick her. Just because you want a self sustaining flock of Barred Rock Chickens, doesn't mean you can't cheat a little bit to get it up and going. Either get a known broody breed, and when she goes broody, get some full size chicken BR chicken eggs from someone else. Next year, you will have a lot more experience and can hatch out your own eggs. Or you can get a brooder. The Kindergarten teacher has successfully hatched out for years in a styrofoam box with a light bulb.

    Mrs K
     
  7. Chicken Egg 17

    Chicken Egg 17 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ya but all breeds are really aware of things except for a few breeds but as long as they are secure they will be fine so if you would consider getting buff orpingtons as I am not trying to change your mind but as Mrs. K said barred rocks don't go broody often
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    My buff Orpington don't go broody either.
     
  9. Chicken Egg 17

    Chicken Egg 17 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes well they are a breed known for going broody every once in a while but I don't own any buff orpingtons
     
  10. mojoejoe

    mojoejoe Out Of The Brooder

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    RTL= Ready to lay

    Thanks everyone. Great info
    Much appreciated
     

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