Two more? or Three??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by horsewishr, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    OK, I've been thinking this to death, and I can't decide how to expand my flock this spring. Right now I've got a RIR, a BR, a BO, and an Australorp. They all look different, but all lay brown eggs. I want eggs of another color. The two options I'm considering are:

    1) Getting two Blue Ameraucana pullets from a local breeder
    or
    2) Getting three day-old chicks from Meyer hatchery: a Welsummer, a Speckled Sussex, and an EE.

    On the one hand, I think it's a good idea to expand the flock as slowly as possible, since I don't want more than 12 at any one time (and I won't cull). So I think 2 is better than 3. But if I get two blue pullets, they'll have to be quarantined (breeder can't sex baby chicks). And I wonder how the two girls will stand up against 4 existing hens.

    If I get day-old chicks, the minimum order is 3. They could be their own little flock if my girls are mean to them. But, then my flock grows faster than I necessarily want it to. And an EE hen probably won't be as pretty or lay as nice an egg as a real Ameraucana.

    Who wants to make this decision for me???!?!?!?
     
  2. lfoose

    lfoose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 1, 2007
    Medina, OH
    Personally I'd go w/the 2 pullet easter eggers. One, because, I'd like to have easter eggers myself and two, because I think pullets are easier to handle/take care of than chicks.

    I think the 2 will do well against the 4 hens. I have been lucky enough to have 4 roos of various breeds, sizes and ages all interact well.

    Good luck.[​IMG]
     
  3. jeaucamom

    jeaucamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2007
    Ophir, CA
    I'm not sure why expanding your flock slowly is the main issue unless it is space issues, but EEs are very pretty, they just don't have the accepted colors that the americanas do. We LOVE our EE and they lay beautiful green or blue/green or pink eggs. And they are very friendly too. And the Welsummers lay those beautiful dark brown eggs.

    I guess another consideration is when you want eggs. Do you mind waiting another 6 months to get the additional eggs or do you want them now?

    And maybe I am wrong, but adding two to your flock will be no harder than adding three, you will have to go through the same process of introducing gradually etc.

    Geesh, this was as clear as mud. If I were you, I would get both the older ones and the chicks, an incubator 4 dozen eggs to set hoping only 3 would hatch and take in a few rescues [​IMG]
     
  4. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    Yes, space is an issue. I don't want more than 12, because I don't want to overcrowd them. Once I reach 12, I won't get any more until some pass away (of natural causes). And I don't want to have 12 geriatric hens at the same time, just to keep feeding them without the benefit of eggs. So, theoretically, I'd like to slowly expand the flock so that I've always got at least a couple of young, producing hens.
     

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