Want to buy more!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Rwood5093, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. Rwood5093

    Rwood5093 In the Brooder

    Dec 30, 2016
    Jamestown, SC
    I currently have 13 8 week olds and I've already decided I want more chickens. we have 11 Barred Rocks, one oops and one White rock. 7 are roosters, with at least 6 destined for freezer camp around the beginning of June.

    But, I'm conflicted about how to acquire these new chicks. Ultimately, I just want a few more (3-4) that would add some interest egg wise to my future brown eggs. EE's and maybe a dark brown egg layer. I know there are quite a few options, but I've limited my options to those that get me chicks for around $50 (including shipping). I know I could get just what I want from certain hatcheries, but I'm not willing to spend that kind of money on livestock. I haven't seen EE's at TSC and we dont have any feed stores with chicks that I can find.

    2 'pre-questions'.
    If I choose to keep a EE roo over a BR roo, isn't there a chance of a blue egg gene being passed on? I think I eventually want to keep 1 roo, not sure if it will be one of my existing BR's or a new EE.
    Do Easter Egger roos make a decent meal? (compared to a Barred Rock).

    Option 1. I can get 3 pullets for around $35 locally. This guy looks like he has some sort of homestead and it looks like the breeds are kept separate, in ground type pens. I dont know him, but have seen his stuff on craigslist for the past few years. He has Easter Eggers and Marans and the birds are about 7 weeks and he might sell me a Marans or EE cockerel if I want one. Pros are the similarity in age to my current flock and the ability to get pullets. Cons is the whole biosecurity issue. I dont really have a way to keep the new birds outside of the coop/run for a length of time for quarantine. I could keep them in a separate coop *inside* the run, but they'd only be separated by hardware cloth from my existing birds. I know that's not ideal.

    Option 2. I can order an EE straight run mix from a local NPIP hatchery (maybe 8 chickens) for $42 shipped (or $20 if I drive 90 miles). Pro's are I hope I would have a nice variety of egg and chicken colors + a few more chickens for the freezer. I can brood inside the coop - with the intent of eating the roosters at the appropriate age. but I worry about my older BR roo getting too frisky with the EE pullets who aren't mature yet. Or I could send all of the BR's to freezer camp, and keep an EE rooster. This would probably result in chaos for a while until all of the roosters are butchered as there would be up to 21 young birds in 2 age groups in my 12x16 run.

    Option 3. I could order 3 EE Pullets, 1 EE Roo and 6 red broiler chickens from Ideal Poultry for about $42 (no dark brown layers available). The broilers are there only to bring my order to the $25 min for shipping. They'd ship when my BR are 20 weeks (when we plan to butcher the roos) so I'd be left with 6 existing hens, 4 new EE chicks (including a new cockerel if I want) and then the meat chicks which we'd butcher at about 11 weeks. This seems to be the most logical way of doing it. but logical doesn't always seem fun and exciting like a pile of fluffy mystery chicks NOW!

    So, I'm thinking option 1 or 3 is the best. Any advice on the biosecurity? is there anything I can look for at his farm to tell me if it's a go/no go? or is it not even worth the risk?

    Am I missing anything? I'm desperately trying to not let chicken math get out of control.

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    If that breeder runs a closed flock, where his chickens are not exposed to new chickens they have essentially been in quarantine. Of course that assumes he’d recognize a disease or parasite if he saw it.

    One caveat to that is that some flocks have flock immunities. They may be carriers for something but have built up an immunity to it. Coccidiosis is a perfect example. Quarantine still won’t solve that but it’s possible a new chicken may introduce something to your existing flock. Or your flock might be the ones with the flock immunity and they might infect him. If he shows chickens or frequents chicken swaps, then he doesn’t have a closed flock.

    EE’s are a mix. There are no standards, no SOP, nothing to define them. They can be anything. If you can see the breeder’s EE’s you can get an idea of how big they might grow for meat. If you get them from a hatchery, well that depends on the hatchery. Often hatchery EE’s aren’t that big compared to other dual purpose breeds, but how big does your chicken have to be before you can make a meal off of it?

    Ideal says their EE males weigh 5 pounds while their Barred Rocks weigh 9-1/2 pounds. Quite a bit of difference.

    Talk to the breeder about the colors of the eggs. They may know if their chickens are pure for the blue egg gene or not. Since it is a dominant gene it’s sometimes pretty difficult to know whether or not the flock is pure for the blue egg gene.

    To me an essential part of chicken math is subtraction. As long as you include subtraction, you can keep chicken math under control.

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