The 12 month plan

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HughesFowlFarm, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. HughesFowlFarm

    HughesFowlFarm Out Of The Brooder

    May 21, 2013
    I do not do this. I only have a few chickens so I couldn't manage doing this, but I think I may have came up with a good 12 month plan for chickens. I have not googled this or tried to find it nor have I ever heard of this. My apologies if any one has already come up with this. Well here we go.

    The other day I heard of someone thinning out their flock for the winter so less mouths to feed when their flock isn't making any income, because they stop laying in winter. So I literally just came up with this with a pencil and sheet of note book paper.
    Instead of starting the new year with January, why not October?

    - Start with one month old chicks

    - They are now 2 months old

    - Now 3 months old

    -4 months old

    - They are now 5 months old

    -They are now 6 months old and it is spring
    - Sell eggs, chicks, and fertile eggs
    -Keep a few dozen chicks to raise

    - Sell eating and fertile eggs, and chicks

    - Sell eating and fertile eggs, and chicks

    - Sell eating and fertile eggs, and chicks

    - Sell eating and fertile eggs, and chicks
    - Sell some of the Pullets and Cockerels that were born in March that are were kept to raise they are now 4 months old

    - Sell eating and fertile eggs, and chicks

    - Hatch eggs and keep some chicks to have throughout the winter.
    - Sell the Adults that were born in September the year before
    - Sell the young birds that were born I March, which would be 6 months old, and should be laying

    Now, the reason for doing this is so that all winter all you have to feed is the chicks that you are wanting to start laying in the spring. Which is cheaper than paying for adults who won't be laying anyways and eat more feed than chicks.
    I do not know if this will be more productive or will even work but I'm sure this is what the hatcheries do as they do not sell at all in the late fall and winter months.

    Any input or addition? Criticizing with explanation would be greatly appreciated, thanks for any input and thanks for reading!!!
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Hmmm... makes some sense to feed smaller birds over winter.

    I wonder if your market would support all that selling tho.
    Adding some butchering in there might be a good idea.

    Just some thoughts from my detail laden brain:

    How many birds are you talking about starting with?
    Where are you going to buy one month old chicks in October?
    Do you have the facilities to handle incubation, brooding, grow out for all these birds?
    Where are you located?

    Will be interesting to see where this conversation goes.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  3. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    All of that planning would just bog my mind down. It does sound like a good plan, as long as you can live with the variables that the chickens will add to the scenario.

    I know folks on here are generally against lights on chickens to keep egg production up during the winter months, but that is how I justify wintering over the whole flock.

    I sell eggs and my customers do not like buying "store" eggs when I don't have eggs available
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    You're not keeping any laying birds for eggs for yourself over the winter?
  5. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    A couple of considerations. At 6 months, your pullets will have just started laying. Pullet eggs are small. The cockerels would also just be starting to mount the pullets. IF they were able to accomplish the deed, whihch they will eventually, any fertile eggs you get will be small, and the chicks that hatch will be small as well. Greater hatching success can be had by waiting until the pullets are closer to a year old. Their eggs are larger, the cockerels are more mature, and your hatch rate and lay rates will be better. I don't breed my hens until they are nearly a year old, and hatch from April through June or July. Also, from my own experience, the market for hathcing eggs varies, and though you can get more money from hatching eggs, especially if you are breeding to SoP and have good lines, your bread and butter income will be eating eggs. Where I am in Colorado, I can't hatch too soon because the weather is too variable, and hatching in the fall puts the growing chicks at risk unless I keep them inside with heat, which I can't afford.
    Just some thoughts.
  6. HughesFowlFarm

    HughesFowlFarm Out Of The Brooder

    May 21, 2013
    Facilities? Nope.
    The idea of having one month old chicks, are just from the ones that hatched at the beginning of summer.

    Most of the chickens I've had don't lay through the winter, so I won't be getting eggs from them to eat through winter.

    Well this was just an idea. A teenager can really only can have ideas. It will be a few years before I can test this out. I would really like to try this. I really don't have much of a farm goin on. Got 2 chickens a mixed bred hen and a little Banty hen, and 5 ducks 3 mallards and 2 pekin. My folks won't let me have a lot of chickens so I won't be able to try this out.
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    With experience at it you will find rearing juveniles through winter is a pain in the backside. You will have to use more feed for maintenance and they will likely finish out a little smaller than Spring Chickens. They can also be a problem if is gets really cold even though they can survive is just fine. Chicks hatched in August are not so bad since they will begin laying about time natural photoperiod is appropriate.

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