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Adding new chickens to our flock

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by MoonShadows, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. Mar 3, 2017
    baymule

    baymule Sustainability Master

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    I love sex links, they lay like crazy. And yes, they burn out after 2 laying seasons, but then they make good chicken and dumplings!

    Your sex links are pretty, you will be very happy with them.
     
  2. Mar 3, 2017
    sumi

    sumi Sustainability Master Administrator

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    Congrats on the new flock additions! They are fantastic layers….

    I'm looking to move house soon and keeping my chickens is up to fate and what my future landlord says. I don't have a house lined up yet, but I'm hoping I'd be able to take at least some of the birds with.
     
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  3. Mar 3, 2017
    MoonShadows

    MoonShadows Almost Self-Reliant

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    No, sex links are a dime a dozen....your Polish chickens are not as prevalent, and bring in a better price, I'm sure.
     
  4. Mar 3, 2017
    MoonShadows

    MoonShadows Almost Self-Reliant

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    Good question, to which I don't have the answer.
     
  5. Mar 3, 2017
    waretrop

    waretrop Almost Self-Reliant

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    1027141835a.jpg

    I usually buy hens about every 6 months and when they are old enough they get banded. I can tell the age of all my chickens. Some sit in the nest box not to lay eggs but just to be lazy and rest. So I keep them for 3 years and then it's out the door with them. They are constantly being rotated. I also keep a light on a timer during the winter months to extend their day. That keeps them laying. Their egg production stays nearly the same all year. Molting time they may cut back a little but not much. They almost never lay eggs on the floor of the coop or in the outside playground. I think what I am doing is pretty constant and even which makes them produce very well over the year.

    I wish that EVERY EGG was extra large. At the moment I get some medium and mostly large to extra large.
     

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  6. Mar 3, 2017
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Super Self-Sufficient

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    I like the barred rocks. Mine have always been good layers, generally 5-6 eggs wk and they do well in winter. Here there isn't extra light to keep production up but, I still find good numbers if hens are not old ones. Last Spring I bought some supper blues from My Pet Chicken. Costly and very disappointed in egg colors as they are just tinted and not blue. BUT, they lay extremely well and the eggs became large within a short time after start up (hybrid Leghorn cross).

    This year they will be covered by my Ameraucana roo and I hope the next generation will give me more egg shell color. I have some Americauna/Marans cross hens who give me lovely green eggs. Most of my customers love the colored eggs & since I only keep a small base of private buyers, it works fine. Chocolate, green, blue, white, tan egg shells....all large. My chicks and started hens sell well just for the colored egg in the housing areas nearby. Guess it gives them something to brag about to neighbors. :\ Plus kids love to collect of these "easter eggs".

    If I were looking to sell eggs in a more commercial setting, I'd sure be using some of the sex link types and using lights in winter. It would be dull when collecting...but, $$$ :lol:

    Moon, your hens look very nice. I know you will enjoy the increase of eggs. You keep yours covered most of the time. Mine are up at night & free range days. I have lost 3 in past 2 weeks to a young bald eagle I have had move into this territory. Generally they stay further west of me. He needs to, also! I suspect it's from a pair who nests about 20 miles out.

    Waretrop, is the PVC on that feeder a 45 curve inside? I just picked up some of those cute red cups for a new waterer a couple days ago. Meant to order months ago....then, TSC had them last week!!! :celebrate I see all the nests and had to laugh because I have 8 nests for one bunch of about 2doz hens....they have 3 favorites a one will stand and holler until another gets out of it! Occasionally they will lay one here or there. All cleaned & bedded the same. The ends seem to be favored.
     
  7. Mar 3, 2017
    MoonShadows

    MoonShadows Almost Self-Reliant

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    This morning I saw one of the new ones on the other side of the run. Now, my chickens (heritage) seldom fly up, and even when they do, it's just a couple of feet. This one hen flew up over the fence I had in the middle of the run and decided to explore the main coop. Next thing I know, another one did the same. So, I figured, ah what the heck, and just removed the gate between the 2 sides of the run. (Besides, we are expecting bitterly cold temps and wind the next two nights, and the main coop offers better protection from the elements.) My "big mama" chicken though is letting these new ones know who's the boss. No battles (yet)...just a lot of pecking.

    Know what you mean about "favorite nests". I have 4, and the hens usually use 1 of them 80% of the time and another the other 20%. Maybe they are saving the other 2 for guests? I used lights the first two years, and winter production was pretty good. This winter since I only had the 3 older ones, I figured I'd give them a break. Didn't see an egg out of them from November until about two days ago. Hope they enjoyed the 3 month vacation.

    Barred Rocks and New Hampshires are my favorite.
     
  8. Mar 3, 2017
    waretrop

    waretrop Almost Self-Reliant

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    Yes @Mini Horses it is PVC. It sits about 3 inches from the bottom of the barrel so when the 300 pounds of food drops down to the bottom of the barrel and the chickens stick their head in to get the food. They took to it in a minute. I showed about 5 how to get the food and the rest followed right along...There is NO lost or scattered food.

    I have 3 sets of next boxes totaling about 50 nests. They took to them immediately. They do have favorite ones and sometimes I find 10 eggs in one box...I don't care as long as I get my 100 eggs a day.....they are very good to me.

    So I just went out and cleaned all the nest boxes, the floor, used lime in the nests and on the floor then spread pine chips. Also put lime in their outside area. Hauled the chips to our big trailer and hauled it away to the neighbor farm field. The whole thing took 1 hour and 45 minutes from very beginning to finish. I did it alone for the first time in a long time. Usually my hubby helps with the heavy duty work.

    @MoonShadows We are going to get very cold tonight. You are right. This is the kind of night I will have to cover the spouts with plastic. During the day the chickens drink enough to keep if unfrozen.
     
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  9. Mar 3, 2017
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Super Self-Sufficient

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    100 a DAY ? :ep You must have a lot of customers.... I keep steady buyers for 10 doz a week, few occassionals, freebies to family & some friends. Only get 1/2 what you do per day -- except when pullets start.

    Moon, sure they DID enjoy a break. I hope you served them drinks by the pool.

    This morning an older couple was buying 7 new RIR chicks to grow out to replace their 6 OLD RIRs at home. They felt their laying was over but, at 4 y/o its ok & they love them anyway.
     
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  10. Mar 3, 2017
    waretrop

    waretrop Almost Self-Reliant

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    I do keep allot of chickens and have about 60 customers. I do not allow them to come to my home so I text them every Wednesday and deliver every Thursday. It is a wonderful thing and they think I am doing such a wonderful thing to take them to them...This way I can sell all my eggs and not have to hang around the house all week. Use the phone one day and drive a few hours another day and I am done with getting rid of the eggs. It is all on the way to pick up my chicken food so I would have been using the gas anyway. Just recently I have been buying 2 pallets worth of food so I haven't had to go every week but my bank is there also and have to stop in that area anyway.

    By the way, I watch for discounts on feed from Tractor Supply. They are 10 and 15 percent discounts. When you buy as much as I do it is quite a bit of savings.
     

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