So now that I have started building my flock what do I do next.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HeatherLynn, May 11, 2010.

  1. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    Ok so I was given 2 beautiful Roosters who hate each other. I bought 4 laying hens, one of which I was told had a tendency to be broody and seems to be trying to prove that fact. I bought 14 chicks of various breeds only 4 of which are females I think and 1 is a pretty silkie that is becoming more pet than barnyard occupant. We converted an old calf barn into a coop. Its fairly large I think. Roughly 15 x20. The run is being expanded and joined to the garden plot which will be planted with a green manure plant for winter foraging. The garden plot has been further secured but will only be available when not in use which is primarily winter but it will give them even greater room to roam. In the run we also have what I call bachelor quarters which are seperate 2 story smaller coops that I can keep a single roo in or several babies. Upper level high, warm and dry. Lower level grass and fenced in. My hubby is in the process of finishing off 2 of these "apartments" and 2 more are in the works. The roosters from the 14 chicks will have to be dealt with and put in the freezer. So best case scenario for my mini flock is 4 laying hens, 4 young pullets, 2 roos and a mystery silkie pet.

    I don't know what to do next. I am ohhh so tempted to mail order a rainbow layer mix from mcmurry but I haven't cleared that one with the hubby yet. Also I am not doing this to sell eggs or even sell chicks. Seems too many rules are being put into play and I don't want to invite regulation so I am keeping this just for family. I am not a big fan of government intervention so I would like to avoid any excuse they have for coming on our farm. They refuse to come get the teens out of the woods who are trying to grow pot on our property and the neighbors but sure as rain they will come mess with my animals. So the question is: is 33 hens too many for a family lol. It sounds like alot. There really are only 8 of us I am providing for currently. The temptation is strong though and I want to do this while the weather here is mild.
     
  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    I guess if I were you I wouldn't do anything for awhile. Get used to the flock that you have before bringing in any more birds. I learned that the hard way, I had about 30 chickens before I realized I like ducks better. Obviously that's probably not going to happen to you, but you don't want to become overwhelmed by having too many birds at once, especially now that warm weather is arriving. Chickens are a lot more work in the summer.

    Also, with a flock that size, you could sell hatching eggs online if you don't want to do anything locally.
     
  3. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    Oh I already know I want ducks. I was outvoted on those already. I had them in the past and it was a total fiasco. Ducks sunning themselves on the neighbors roof, taking baths in the neighbors fountain, neighbor dogs trying to kill my ducks constantly. Family voted it was too stressful. I have geese also but those are my moms. I raised those before too. Such messy birds. I have never seen anything that poops this much. This is my second year on chickens and I will admit I am impatient. Last year was a dud with paying extra for all pullets and having an entire flock of roosters. I was egg poor lol. I am just soo dang tempted. Its hard to stop.

    Its like sitting in front of a bowl of potato chips. You just keep grabbing for more.
     
  4. bethandjoeync

    bethandjoeync Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Iron Station, NC
    33 chickens would probably provide plenty for your household. I would check out the laws and such, for your area to see what you can do to get around them. I know if our area, you can't sell "Graded" eggs unless you are certified and no more than 30 dozen per week. we certainly don't get that close. I also try and keep my customer base to family and friends that enjoy and appreciate fresh eggs.

    depending on the breeds on you girls will depend on how frequently they lay. my RSL girls layed 6 eggs each per week! and I had 15 of them laying. so you do the math. I had to figure out how to get rid of these eggs. and on a plus side, they paid for their own feed [​IMG]. we will be in a situation around August....30+ chickens will all be laying eggs lol. so if the breeds you have are not high yeild egg machines, you will probably be ok.

    also, if you find you have an over abundance of eggs, you can always boil them, chop them up and feed them back to the chickens. it can cut back on feed costs and still be a nutritious filler.

    good luck! and welcome to your new addiction!!
     
  5. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    I think maybe brownies and a movie tonight to butter my hubby up. I might even chill some beer for him. Then I will tell him I went ahead and ordered chicks earlier. Its always easier to ask for forgiveness and a bit of coop expansion than it is to ask for permisson.
     

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