thinking of getting some new chickens - need advice

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by zoespaartin, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. zoespaartin

    zoespaartin Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2010
    I have the following chickens currently (we lost several already to predators):

    1 Black Star rooster (super big jerk - but takes care of the girls)
    1 Buff Brahma Bantam rooster (docile, and gets along with the jerk)
    2 Black Star girlies (kind of aggressive as girls go)
    1 Americauna (nice gal)
    1 Light Brahma (gentle giant)
    1 Buff Brahma Bantam girlie (my favorite! sweet as a doll!)

    We lost 2 really good layers and are down to only 5 now, and I can't be sure all of them are laying. I know the eggs of the bantam and americana, but I don't know about the others. They are brown and look similar. It seems like I should get more eggs if they were all laying.

    Anyway... I am really sad about my chickens dying and want 3 - 5 more pullets. I don't know if I should go buy them as pullets or chicks, or if I should get an incubator and hatch some out myself. I know that 9 out of 10 of my eggs are fertilized, so I know I could have a good success rate if I hatched them out myself.

    Which of the ways would cause the most and least amout of trouble with my existing flock? I don't want to upset my current chickens too much. Will they be aggressive to new pullets? Any advice?
     
  2. tammyd57

    tammyd57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Have any of your girls exhibited broody signs? Because that can be the easiest way to add to your flock without a lot of disruption between new girls and existing girls. Just put a broody in a big pet crate with a nest full of eggs and a food and water dish. Keep the crate inside your coop so the other chickens don't "forget" the broody and give her a hard time when she comes back. Let the broody out to stretch her legs and do her business every day. The crate keeps the other chickens from bothering her or the eggs or chicks when they hatch. No one else can add eggs to the nest either. I love letting broodies do the hatching for me.
     
  3. zoespaartin

    zoespaartin Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 21, 2010
    none of my girls have gotten the itch yet. They just started laying this month, so I think it might be a little while. They just plop their eggs and go. I actually got my bantam just because they are supposed to be good setters, but I don't know if I have the patience to wait for one of them to get broody. I would like a few more layers by Spring time.
     
  4. tammyd57

    tammyd57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I got tired of waiting for one of my hens to go broody and I built an incubator to hatch a few eggs. The girls were over a year old so I thought if there was going to be any broodiness it would have happened by then. Wrong! Halfway through the second small batch of eggs in the bator the girls started setting, one after the other. By then it was getting much too hot here to let them risk their health by setting so long. So I only let one hatch her eggs, but she did a fantastic job!

    If you do decide to get some started pullets, do you have space to quarantine them before adding them to your existing flock? That would determine whether or not I would get chicks or started pullets. I won't add any chickens that have been outside to my flock without quarantining them first to make sure there are no health issues that may spread to everyone else. Following strict bio-security measures has helped insure that in over 40 years of keeping chickens, I have never had any disease, lice or mites in any of my flocks.
     

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