sustainable flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 254trucker, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. 254trucker

    254trucker Just Hatched

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    I was wanting to know how long I should wait until I should try to hatch a clutch to keep the flock going? We have 15 rir. 6 ideal 236 (leghorn hybrid ) 6 nhr. 3 welsummer and a speckled Sussex all pullets as far as I know . They range in age from 3-7 weeks.. I don't want to hatch to many at one time. We mainly got the chicks because the house we are in had an enclosed hutch already built 12 x 16 foot and a run already fenced in its 32 x76. And have 4 acres for them to roam.
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    For 250+ chickens, the 12 x 16 enclosure seems small. I am assuming that your chickens will be sleeping in their enclosed run. What are you planning to do with your chickens. I know that you intend to collect eggs, but after they are 3 to 4 years old, then what will you do??? Sell for meat? Sell as live chickens to peeps?
    I Think a four year plan would work well. Every year replace 25% of flock and keep rotating. If you go 3 year cycle, then replace 33% annually. This way you can maximize the egg production.
    WISHING YOU BEST.... and [​IMG]
     
  3. 254trucker

    254trucker Just Hatched

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    My apologies 31 total. The ideal 236 is a breed of leghorn created by ideal poultry. Ideal poultry is a local hatchery here
     
  4. 254trucker

    254trucker Just Hatched

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    We originally got the chickens for the eggs . The eggs we can't handle we will give them to the grandparents. Un needed chickens will either be sold or stewed. I apologize for the misunderstood information earlier 31 chickens total.
     
  5. stuckinthecity

    stuckinthecity Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lucky chickens! Sounds like a great set up. If I'm understanding your question right, I would rotate hens out and add new pullets in every 2-3 years. If you are just keeping for pets/eggs, you *should (IMO) get about 3 good years out of a hatchery type production bird before it's time for them to be replaced completely. Hopefully you'll have one or two rogue RIR hens that go broody (or the Sussex) and you won't even have to incubate that much yourself.
    -This is a whole other topic, but if you decide to wait and see if any of the girls wanna raise some chicks for you... you could set eggs at the same time she's sitting on her on clutch and put the incubator babies under her at night on the day they (all) hatch. Once you've decided she's a good enough mom to experiment with, of course. I was able to do something similar with the silver ee hen in my avatar. I would pick up chicks from the trade day (10-15 at a time) and place them under her after she had been sitting on duds for about 2-2 1/2 weeks. Good luck! Wouldn't mind seeing some pics [​IMG]
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    31 birds will give you plenty of eggs,especially those hybrids.
    It may take you a few years to figure out how to replenish your stock.
    Depends: on how you manage them over the winter, how many and what kind of birds you really need, how you want to juggle housing and integration, if you want to slaughter or sell 1-2 year old birds to keep the egg supply prosperous.....there's a LOT to consider.
    And in the end, eggs are a seasonal food unless you manipulate your population and environment to keep them laying all year long.
    I'd go for a year and see how you go, plan on housing for some new chicks next spring.
     
  7. TominWa

    TominWa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm already thinking of a "retirement" coup. I couldn't get rid of Meg....or Sylvia!
     
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    There are some, you keep, even the most harden chicken keeper has one or two, that just stays.

    But really the advice of adding a few chicks every year is a good one, some out and new ones in. I keep a flock, love the flock, but the birds in the flock come and go. If you go into winter with the least number of birds in your flock, some older birds and pullets that began to lay in early fall, you should have some fresh eggs all winter. Adding a little light will up production, some people do, some people don't. That is pretty good poultry management.

    I don't keep as many birds are you do, but I try to face the fall with 1/3 pullets, 1/3 18 months, and 1/3 two and half years old birds. However, that is only a loosely held plan, in fact I have only actually done it in two out of 10 years. Life gives other plans, unexpected rooster counts, predators, or a good bargain.

    I would not add this year, but would plan to get chicks next year, and adjust your flock in the fall of next year.

    Mrs K
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My goal^^^ .....have only hit it once in 3 years...found 1/2 18mo and 1/2 pullets is easier, but my space is limited
    Just sold five 24mo today...didn't cull last fall, winter was crowded.
    Found selling them in spring while in lay is much easier than selling(or plucking) older birds in fall during molt.
    Next year might be different...haha!
     
  10. 254trucker

    254trucker Just Hatched

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    Thanks for all the information. Since I have posted here last time we have taken on a 10 mo rir roo and a mating pair of br also 10 mo we have the roosters separated and the bared rock hen has laid 5 eggs but her roo ate one . Bad news but it was put in his own coop so we can hatch a clutch. My son 11 yo will be showing the bared rocks in the local 4h. Thanks all for the great information
     

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