When do you usually "restock" your flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by peterlund, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. peterlund

    peterlund Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 29, 2010
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    My first full year has come and gone, and even though I still have laying going on I was wondering when is the time to replenish hens to keep the eggs coming and the birds young and healthy? I was thinking of starting up another batch from a hatchery and retiring my current ladies this fall. Does this sound right, or am I too fast in getting new models?
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    It really just depends on your goals, how much you're willing to support unproductive hens.

    I replenish continually, hatching right here from my own birds and hens are sent to freezer camp at 18 months. I choose 18 months because that is, generally, when they go through a molt. I am not willing to feed hens through their molt period when they will be highly unlikely to lay at all only to come out the other end with slower egg production. For me the chickens are not pets however, they need to pull their weight so this works for us. If you've got a more laid back setup and don't mind what the bottom line looks like you could absolutely keep them longer. Their egg production will slow after their 18 mo molt, but the eggs tend to be larger, too. So it's a trade off. They should continue to lay to some extent or another for a few years at minimum.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The 18 month mark is pretty common to keepers who insist on top egg production.
    Some here keep chickens far more for pets and some of the anthropomorphic postings are a real hoot. That's their thing.
    For others, the chickens are more utilitarian in nature and must justify their feed costs.
     
  4. peterlund

    peterlund Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:So 18 months is a good rule of thumb. I gave a friends 4 older hens a free ride this summer fall, and I see no point in keeping unproductive girls around... It was nice to think I was "saving" them, but the point got lost already. So I will get my chick order ready.
     
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    april and october with the best that I can hatch out and cull out the worst of the oldest.
     
  6. peterlund

    peterlund Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred's Hens :

    The 18 month mark is pretty common to keepers who insist on top egg production.
    Some here keep chickens far more for pets and some of the anthropomorphic postings are a real hoot. That's their thing.
    For others, the chickens are more utilitarian in nature and must justify their feed costs.

    Well mine certainly don't justify the cost of feed, but the eggs seem to taste better (so says my teeny little brain anyway) so I will keep doing the chicken thing, but I knew someday the majority of the girls would need to go....​
     
  7. peterlund

    peterlund Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:So you actually update twice yearly? If I might ask how many birds are you raising?
    Thanks
     
  8. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    My original flock was granted immunity because we named them all! [​IMG]
    I saved a flock from certain death and they are laying well! [​IMG]
    And I am adding more because this year those two flocks will be two years old and some will have to go to freezer camp! [​IMG]
    But I have learned not to think of them as pets! They are chickens and will be looked at as food from now on!
     
  9. peterlund

    peterlund Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Naming some of mine was a mistake. But I THINK I can bring myself to do what is expected of a food source... At least I will have another 6 months to either work up the nerve, or expand my coop and run...
     
  10. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    By the time you catch the chickens, pen them for the night, set up your station in the morning, bring them over, get started, etc, etc it really does become a process and is pretty easy to disconnect yourself from. Some of ours -- those that stand out -- get names, they still end up in the freezer just the same and I can honestly say the named ones are no more traumatic than the others. My favorite gander was sold as Christmas dinner to some of our clients this year. I personally slit his throat. He was named. I chatted with him every day, could pet him, he came running whenever he saw me. But he also was a poor quality example of his breed, so he needed to go before breeding season. Once you get into the mindset this, that and the other thing need to be done in order to reach the end goal, it's much easier than it seems.
     

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