Starting flock - chicks or ready to lay pullets?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by canoetrpr, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. canoetrpr

    canoetrpr New Egg

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    Feb 19, 2007
    Hello all.

    We are just planning our coop. We have the basics of the building and run planned out.

    Wondering whether to start with ready to lay pullets or chicks or both.

    Our feed store gets chicks from Frey's Hatchery www.freyshatchery.com. They have one breed (Shaver Red Sex-Link) available as 20 week ready to lay pullets. Alternatively we could start with chicks - which would allow us to pick any mix of breeds.

    I'm assuming that we couldn't get the ready to lay pullets AND a batch of chicks as it might be too much trouble to separate them.

    We're leaning towards starting with a batch of chicks for variety and to watch them grow :). Any suggestions on what breeds to get avoid? We can have cold winters in Ontario so hardy easy to handle breeds are preferred.

    Would appreciate any input.
     
  2. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    I would get chicks because I want birds with their beaks still on. also I like a mixture of breeds and chicks in general.

    good luck,
    Henry
     
  3. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh and get Easter Eggers, Marans, Favorrels, and delawares. [​IMG]

    Henry
     
  4. canoetrpr

    canoetrpr New Egg

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    Feb 19, 2007
    Hmm.. I just had another idea that I thought I'd run by you experts here.

    We are planning for a 8x6 coop. Figure we will want about 8 hens to lay eventually. So we were thinking of getting about a dozen pullets. If we have extras we can give them away quite easily.

    At the same time as we are raising our 12 layer chicks, might as well raise another dozen cockerels for meat for the freezer. Since we were originally thinking of getting ready to lay pullets I figured we would not be able to mix 20 week pullets and chicks to be raised for meat .... but this way in 16 or so weeks we'd have 12 birds for the freezer.

    Is our coop going to be large enough to accomodate 24 birds if all survive to 16 or so weeks before we slaughter the cockerels?
     
  5. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    will they get free range or have a run? Sounds like a great Idea I am thinking about processing some birds later on.

    Henry
     
  6. canoetrpr

    canoetrpr New Egg

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    Feb 19, 2007
    They will have a run. I have two working dogs that are rather prey driven and I'd rather not have to be on top of them everytime we go out to the yard :)

    A good question though is what sort of rule of thumb should one use for the size of a run?

    I am using a 4 sq foot rule of thumb for adult hens in the coop. Not quite sure about the run.
     

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