Size of flock changing with chicks aging

Mrs. K

Crossing the Road
14 Years
Nov 12, 2009
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western South Dakota
I have kept chickens for a long time. Even yet it can surprise me. At the first of March, I added a dozen chicks to an adult flock of 5 hens and rooster. There was LOTS OF ROOM. The chicks were little. Even though I knew that some of those birds would not wind up in the flock by the next winter, space did not seem to be a problem.

It is so funny, but last night, as they were all sunbathing in the last of day, I looked around and thought, whoa, this is getting crowded. The size of the chicks has changed, and they are getting bigger. A lot bigger.

When people get chicks, they are so tiny, that it really is hard to imagine them bigger. Decisions need to be made for the success of the laying flock, for the harmony of the flock. Who to keep. I think I have about 2 more weeks. Then I will open up my original coop/run for a grow out pen.

I posted this, because I too, with years of experience, have at different time succumbed to chicken math. Often times new people get tiny chicks, and then the chicks out grow the set up and problems start.

Mrs. K
 
I have kept chickens for a long time. Even yet it can surprise me. At the first of March, I added a dozen chicks to an adult flock of 5 hens and rooster. There was LOTS OF ROOM. The chicks were little. Even though I knew that some of those birds would not wind up in the flock by the next winter, space did not seem to be a problem.

It is so funny, but last night, as they were all sunbathing in the last of day, I looked around and thought, whoa, this is getting crowded. The size of the chicks has changed, and they are getting bigger. A lot bigger.

When people get chicks, they are so tiny, that it really is hard to imagine them bigger. Decisions need to be made for the success of the laying flock, for the harmony of the flock. Who to keep. I think I have about 2 more weeks. Then I will open up my original coop/run for a grow out pen.

I posted this, because I too, with years of experience, have at different time succumbed to chicken math. Often times new people get tiny chicks, and then the chicks out grow the set up and problems start.

Mrs. K
Thanks Mrs. K. My flock will need looking at by fall too. It's too easy to add too many. You either need to keep a certain number for your space, or nature will do it for you, by diseases and behavioral problems.
 
Six weeks ago we came home with 6 chicks and just started to leave them out for the day in a run but at night they seem to be brought back into the house each night. Can't wait till they are big enough to be put in the big pen and coop with the others.
 
It's planning for the inevitable need to add to my flock that I avoid chicken math now. It's going to happen, I just need to hold off as long as possible. Hard to do sometimes.
 
Six weeks ago we came home with 6 chicks and just started to leave them out for the day in a run but at night they seem to be brought back into the house each night. Can't wait till they are big enough to be put in the big pen and coop with the others.

Believe it or not, you can integrate those chicks now. You simply need a place in your coop where they can be in the coop, but separated from the adults for a few days. Then open up a small access door so they can come and go from their secure area, but the adults can't follow them. Be sure the chicks know how to get in and out of their safe haven, and make sure there are plenty of spaces in the coop/run for them to retreat from the big birds. Include out of sight spots, as well as multi level areas, multiple feed/water stations. @azygous is the queen of early integration and has some innovative ideas.
 
It is so funny, but last night, as they were all sunbathing in the last of day, I looked around and thought, whoa, this is getting crowded. The size of the chicks has changed, and they are getting bigger. A lot bigger....Mrs. K
Had the same thing last year!
Luckily my setup can support about 30 thru spring summer.....got it down to 21 for winter which was a few too many. Started culling by selling five 2yo earlier this spring.....and have a cull list started to 'execute' by this fall.

Got chick math this spring, hatched some(bad hatch rate was 'good' in the long run) but then I bought 4 more coveted breeds. Yikes!
Should be ok with 25 over summer tho, then plan to get down to 16-18 by start of winter.
 
Had the same thing last year!
Luckily my setup can support about 30 thru spring summer.....got it down to 21 for winter which was a few too many. Started culling by selling five 2yo earlier this spring.....and have a cull list started to 'execute' by this fall.

Got chick math this spring, hatched some(bad hatch rate was 'good' in the long run) but then I bought 4 more coveted breeds. Yikes!
Should be ok with 25 over summer tho, then plan to get down to 16-18 by start of winter.
I've started my list too. "Keep - grey broody, tagged dark cornish (broody) Don't Keep - white chicken with pea comb - small eggs, other dark cornish - small eggs," etc.
 

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