So I was thinking of adding more chickens to breed but...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cupman, May 29, 2011.

  1. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,543
    43
    171
    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I'll try to explain this the best I can without getting too long winded.

    I have 14 birds, I was considering hatching more after I found a breed I really enjoy. I was thinking of adding 4 or 5 more buff orpingtons and getting a buff rooster and then trying to hatch my eggs in an incubator to get more buff orpingtons. I would like all of my birds to roam about my yard together in a flock and I really don't want to segregate them. Here was my plan and I am curious if you more experienced chicken fans have any predictions. I was considering building a miniature coop and run, one that would only fit up to 5 birds.. if I raised the chicks up and then stuck them all in that other coop and got them used to it would they return to that coop every night? or would they go in the other coop too. Also, would the other non-buffs stay out of the buff orpington mini-coop or would they run the risk of going into the buff coop and plopping out an egg on the pile of buff orpington eggs. I say this because I want to hatch strictly buff orpington eggs.

    And lastly, the incubator I was looking at getting holds up to 50 chicken eggs, how long do fertilized eggs stay good for? Because if I only have 6 buffs it could sure take awhile to fill up that incubator. Thanks for reading, hope I was clear enough.
     
  2. Ms.Frizzle

    Ms.Frizzle Chillin' With My Peeps

    350
    1
    101
    Apr 15, 2011
    Wisconsin
    At max, I would store eggs up to 7 days. You need to keep them at 50-60 degrees F, large air sac end up, and turn them at least two times a day.

    Personally, I think the chickens would all mix up together. However, if you learn which chicken lays which eggs, you may be able to tell them apart by color. It may be slight, but there are differences between breeds.
     
  3. BarefootMom

    BarefootMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Half Way, Missouri
    I will try to help...

    Example- I have 2 different coops- one for my layers and one for my pullets (8 weeks old) They are all free ranging now and they all go back to their own coop at night. I don't have nest boxes in coop 2 yet though so I don't know if I would get eggs in there or not. Probably would though since my free rangers tend to lay wherever they want to these days.

    Would it really be a big deal if you hatched out some crosses? Most people that want to buy just a chick or two really don't care about the breed.

    I don't like to keep hatching eggs for more than 7 days at the maximum. I really like to keep it around 5 days. Just because your incubator can hold 50 eggs doesn't mean it has to be full. Be sure to store your hatching eggs at room temp and with the big end up (pointy end down)

    good luck and hope I helped.
     
  4. cupman

    cupman Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,543
    43
    171
    Apr 12, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Thanks. I like the idea about recognizing which breeds lay which eggs, I think the buffs lay a larger egg, maybe that'll be the key. And I guess you're right, even if I hatched a few mutts it wouldn't be a big deal, chickens are delicious.
     
  5. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    5,916
    545
    341
    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    At first they would probably go back to their respective coops at night and it would be pretty unlikely that a hen from the other group would go into the orp's coop, (but not impossible). If you have other roosters, I am not sure how the respective roosters will get along. If you don't have another rooster, I don't know if the buff orp rooster will decide they are all his hens and thus want them all to roost together at night.

    I can tell the difference between my different breeds' eggs by color and size.
     
  6. stcroixusvi

    stcroixusvi Chillin' With My Peeps

    782
    12
    133
    May 5, 2011
    Western NC
    My Coop
    Quote:Wow, how do you get them to go back into their own coops? Do you keep them for any length of time in the coop before letting them out? I am new at this as well.
     
  7. Ms.Frizzle

    Ms.Frizzle Chillin' With My Peeps

    350
    1
    101
    Apr 15, 2011
    Wisconsin
    Chickens of a certain age/temperament seem to flock together, or at least that is what I've noticed.
     
  8. BarefootMom

    BarefootMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Half Way, Missouri
    Quote:Wow, how do you get them to go back into their own coops? Do you keep them for any length of time in the coop before letting them out? I am new at this as well.

    The pullets have been in their coop since age 4 weeks and we didn't let them free range until 6 weeks. The layers have been in their coop for a year now so they know it is their home. It is just the way it seems to work. I do have one EE that roosts with the pullets because after she hatched out her babies and then tried to kill them (bad broody mama!!) she decided the 5 week old pullets (all 100 of them) were hers. yeah... lol. She still thinks they are her chicks and some of them are as big as she is!
     
  9. stcroixusvi

    stcroixusvi Chillin' With My Peeps

    782
    12
    133
    May 5, 2011
    Western NC
    My Coop
    Quote:Wow, how do you get them to go back into their own coops? Do you keep them for any length of time in the coop before letting them out? I am new at this as well.

    The pullets have been in their coop since age 4 weeks and we didn't let them free range until 6 weeks. The layers have been in their coop for a year now so they know it is their home. It is just the way it seems to work. I do have one EE that roosts with the pullets because after she hatched out her babies and then tried to kill them (bad broody mama!!) she decided the 5 week old pullets (all 100 of them) were hers. yeah... lol. She still thinks they are her chicks and some of them are as big as she is!

    Thanks! I continue to be amazed at the chicken intellect.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by