"The Breeding Pen"

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Our Roost, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. Our Roost

    Our Roost Songster

    Jan 13, 2011
    ScottsVille, michigan
    Next spring seems a long way off but I like to make plans in advance. I currently have 8 blue Orpingtons with 1 blue orp rooster in the mix. Come spring I will be acquiring Belgian Cuckoo Malines eggs in which to hatch. I am sure I will get another rooster or 2 in that bunch. I don't want the roosters and hens to get mixed together when I plan to breed both strains seperately.
    I'm not sure but I think a lot of people keep their roosters in with their hens right up until they decide to breed them. They can be very protective of predators and this may be one of many reasons.
    I currently have an 8 x 16ft. coop with an 8 x 16ft. open air florida room attached to the front of the coop for them to stay in surounded by a 33 x 52 ft. fenced run area. I sheltered 25 birds comfortably in there the last few seasons.
    I've had 3 roosters and a few broody hens and I know that roosters like all the girls! The hens of both breeds will be okay together mostly but the roosters need to be seperated from them when we decide to reproduce their specific breed strain. I will then put hens of choice in with the rooster to fertilize the eggs. At least I think this is how it is done?
    I did a heck of a job on building our coop and run area but have no clue what goes into setting up a breeding pen persay. I have to assume the rooster will be living, eating and sleeping in there full time and more or less quarantined during the selective breeding time. Do you keep the hen right in there with him or what? Do you need a nesting box? How much space for a rooster and maybe 3 hens or more of his kind. If there is a u-tube video that would help me I will look for it. All comments and help appreciated!
  2. SIMZ

    SIMZ Crowing

    Apr 29, 2011
    Northwest Indiana
    I'm sure others have much better set-ups, but here's what I've done:

    I keep all of my chickens together and then split them up in very early spring. We just wait about 3-4 weeks after they're separated to collect eggs to make sure the eggs are fertilized by the correct rooster.

    Since your coop is so big, maybe you could divide it in half? Ours is set up with 2 pop doors that go into the large enclosed run so it can be divided if needed. The run can also be split with fencing, too. Then we just went ahead and build an additional, attached small coop to split the flocks for breeding.

    This time of year they're all back together again and will overwinter together in the main coop.
  3. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    It depends on how much/how often you want to breed...as well as how selective you want to be.

    If you want just general pure bred birds, it might be easiest to figure out how to split your set-up into two and have each breed in it's own half.

    If you want to be more selective in your breeding, aiming not just for pure bred birds, but focusing on the standard of perfection, or whatever specific traits you value... Then you might be much happier splitting them up with one rooster to only one hen, maybe two. In this situation, it might make more sense to have a row of tiny summer only coops each one with it's own run and nesting area and each set-up sized for only two or three chickens.

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