Starting the Flock:)

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by MeatKing, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. MeatKing

    MeatKing Chillin' With My Peeps

    HI all, dh just gave me the go ahead... To get 25 ish, laying chickens! I was thinking duel purpose.. Can I get a few diiffernet kinds that will get along? If I want all different kinds, should they all be day olds at the same time? Is is plaussible to get a rooster for each kind of hen? (In the hopes to have more free chickens some day) I know I want Black Australorps, What happens if I get say 25 of these and a few of a diffenert kind? Then what if the two kinds mate is this ok? Ok and the fianal question, I know a few people around here that have chickens for sale, any precautions when intrducing new ones to the flock (keep seperate for awhile) What happens if I don't? (Winter is coming, there gonna need each other for the heat!)
    Ok sorry, one last question.. I live in Ontario Canada.. If you were starting all over, what would you start with/what time of year?
    Thank-you so much everyone!
    I look forward to your replies! [​IMG]
     
  2. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

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    If I were you I would start with 25 and only 2 of those being roos. I would go with chicks all about the same age. You can mix different breeds as long as you stick with the same size. Though bantams think they are just as big as standards.
    Dual purpose is what we started with and we have eaten a good many different breeds but found that our Marans had the best taste. We are keeping a few flocks of those going for eggs, meat and sales.
    You can visit my website to see all the different ones we run together in our free range flock but you may be putting yours in coops and runs together, which can be fine as long as they have plenty of space.
    There will always be a few that are picked on so no matter what you do, someone will be the lowest on the chain and always seem to be the skinniest.
    My Australorps are wonderful birds but so are most of my others. The Faverolles were always the sweetest and I could not run them with my standard flock. They were picked on way too much.
    I would not get a rooster for each breed. You would need breeding pens for those but if you are wanting to raise some in the future you will probably find a rooster you like best and want chicks from him. I will be crossing my Langshans roo next year with my Jersey Giants simply for my own use. I love my roo and it is simply too hard to find mates for him within his own breed.

    If you buy older birds and want to introduce them to your flock later you will need an isolation pen far away from your existing flock to keep them separate for at least 3 weeks to a month. Then you can move them closer to your flock and eventually right beside them and then in with them at night. There will still be squabbles but eventually a pecking order will be established. Introduce more than one at a time so to help the transition. I try to put 6 or so into an existing flock at one time but sometimes my fly over a fence and introduce themselves.

    Chickens are so much fun! Enjoy![​IMG]
     
  3. that_crazy_lady

    that_crazy_lady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] you can mix breeds, they get along well. but the roos don't care what breed they cover, so if you want more then on breed and full bloods you need coop and run for each breed.

    chicks need to be close in size so they don't hurt each other.

    I had lorps befor, I endded up with a pair, I also had barred rock hens, and i endded up with some crosses. they were sex-linked, the pullets came out black, the roos barred, but with the nice green sheen to the bars. they were nice big birds. if the stud roo had been barred and the hen black, the pullets would be barred, and the roos black. I love the lorps, sweet, good mothers and outstanding layers.

    and let me just say for you [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    had to add I am starting over again [​IMG] and the breeds I'm shooting for are Black Australorp loving/eggs, Delaware breeding/eggs/meat, American Game beacous I can/breeding, Sebright breeding/color, and Cochin and/or Silkyies color/fluff/hatching....and the list keeps growing lol
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    I agree with PP's regarding breed selection, sizes etc. As for WHEN to get them, a common time of year is Spring. It makes sense because the weather is warming up so there are fewer issues with keeping chicks warm, integrating them to be outside etc. The problem with this is that you then spend Spring, Summer and possibly even some of the Fall feeding them and waiting for them to mature enough to lay. Around the time they start laying, the days get shorter and laying can become more sporadic. For that reason, I started with chicks in the Fall, rather than wait until Spring. That way, I feed them over the winter while they are maturing (and wouldn't be laying as much anyway), and by Spring they will be in full swing egg production. But since you are north of me, it may be too late to start them now. They'll need to stay under heat in a brooder until they are fully feathered before they can be turned loose outside. Mine were fully feathered at 4 weeks but I've heard many people report that theirs were still feathering out at 6 or even 8 weeks old (not sure what makes the difference?). Six or eight weeks from now will be pretty darn cold and I wouldn't want to be taking chicks who are used to being under heat and sticking them outside in sub-zero temps. But that's just me. [​IMG] Although it is exciting and hard to wait, if I were you, I would wait until late winter to get chicks (if you can find any then) and by the time they are mature enough to go outside without heat, it will be Spring and the days will be starting to warm up.
     

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