Thinking of adding to my flock this spring....what would you do?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nab58, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. nab58

    nab58 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My first ever chickens were purchased last March as chicks from Tractor supply. I bought the minimum....6 red sex links. I chose RSL's because I was concerned with getting an unwanted rooster. My RSL's are fantastic layers, healthy, hearty for my area (New England) and all get along.

    my family built me a wonderful, secure coop and we have plenty of acreage.

    I'd really like to add some colored egg layers to the flock but am afraid of difficulties integrating new birds into an existing calm environment.


    Is it worth the risk? My coop is not designed for segregation of newcomers.

    Should I try something like ducks? We have a small pond I think ducks would enjoy.

    We do have predators to worry about. I haven't had any losses but did have a fox chase a hen across the yard in plain daylight and a hawk attack a bird right when I was standing next to it.

    I'd consider peahens, ducks, chickens....maybe even a dwarf goat.

    What would you do?
     
  2. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I mean, putting the added protection to temporarily separate the birds isn't as hard as it sounds. Many people on here have done it, and I can attest that while it is nerve-racking when you release the birds, it will work if done properly. Ducks are just as vulnerable as chickens when it comes to predators. They can be attacked too, so they will still need the extra protections.

    A dwarf goat...now you're talking! They are certainly a ton of work, but they have their benefits. With goats, you usually need more than one, as a single goat will get lonely and nasty, always trying to find an escape. Unless it is socialized constantly, goats do best in numbers - even if it is just two. If you get females, they NEED to be milked, and this is a significant investment of time and energy to bring the goat to the milking station, get her anchored, do the milking, and then store it. Best of luck in whatever decision you make!
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I would build the segregation into the coop that you will need to add more chickens.....would be cheaper than adding the facilities you'd need for ducks and especially for goats (they need boucoup fencing).

    Were you thinking about getting chicks?
    If buying older birds, you'll want to think about medical quarantine as well as segregation quarters.
     
  4. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Like your Boston Terriers! Ducks really need separate housing and as mentioned, you will need good fencing and also need to "goat proof" your run and coop (I have a couple Alpine-Nubians with the chickens); Yet, they do keep away hawks!

    If you get chicks, raise them in a brooder area in your garage or house area and then transition them into the coop at 6 to 7 weeks of age. I take mine over at about 5 weeks old but they spend another week or two isolated from the flock before they mingle together. Ideally, if you can add onto your existing coop for the new birds then the transition will be the best since new space is created and territorial fights reduced.

    I have some South American Chickens that lay beautiful blue eggs!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. nab58

    nab58 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's a picture of my coop. I'm not sure how I'd make a separate area for the chicks in both the coop and run. There's only one entrance into the coop from the screened area for the chickens. Any suggestions?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    You need an addition/annex..... built off the back maybe.
     
  7. nab58

    nab58 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yeah, I think you're right. We just built it and now we have to put on an addition! I guess we should have thought about that in the first place. Never thought I'd be adding to the flock.
    Maybe I could get a rooster!
     

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