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I'm beginning to think I have a serious problem. Is there a chicken hoarders show?

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  • I'm beginning to think I have a serious problem. Is there a chicken hoarders show?

    So, I have 4 hens that decided to go broody. The first one hatched out 7 chicks, but then I was TSC and they had bantam chicks. I don't have any Bantams, so I bought 7. Two were sickly and died, but the rest are living fine with momma chicken. A mottled Cochin, a white Cochin, a Silver Sebright, one that could be a black OEGB, and another yet undetermined.

    So last night broody hen #2 hatches out 3 chicks (so far). Then at lunch, I went to TSC and darn it if they didn't have some interesting breeds of Bantam chicks, so I bought 6 more. Two white Polish, 2 rust colored Silkies (Partridge maybe?), and 2 feather-legged that I have not identified yet. Those 2 are rust colored with grey/lavendar on their backs.

    I still have 2 more broodies, but I am DONE, done I tell you, with buying more chicks. Did you hear me? DONE! Unless something really interesting turns up...... but otherwise I'm done, so I'm basically done.

    Someone call the Discovery Channel.. Please??

    And PS, NEVER EVER EVER google Polish chicks looking for photos of chickens....especially from your work computer. Those were not chickens...
    Rhode Islands are red;
    North Hollands are blue.
    Sorry my thoroughbreds
    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :

  • #2
    I have been being very strict with myself when I see those adorable chicks. I have a little flock of Speckled Sussex but really want some Bantams. None of my hens are broody yet and I don't want to raise the chicks myself. I want to be able to slip them under a Hen Momma.
    Patty
    www.rivervalefarm.com
    Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts

    Comment


    • #3
      You have succumbed to what BYC calls "Chicken Math"

      I think it comes from eating homegrown eggs...at least that is my story & I am sticking to it.

      This from one who originally planned to have just 2 or 3 hens.
      Presently holding @ 6 hens + 1 rooster.
      And eyeing the fluffballs at TSC.....

      NoDQ:
      Stand Awaaaaay from the broody!
      I had one hen go broody for 3 months.
      And when I got her 2 chicks to raise over a weekend, the very day I got back, with 2 little day-old cuties..... BANG!
      She was totally un-broody, said "NTYVM" to the idea of mothering them and I had to raise the chicks.
      Which, unfortunately is no Biggie, thus tempting me to add to my flock.
      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Oh yes, my broodies are taking care of the chicks for me. It's just funny to see the bantam chicks with the full-sized chicks. Some are less than 1/2 the size, but they are feisty and hold their own quite well.

        I think I am going to raise this batch in the house for a while to try and keep down the casualties since they are TSC chicks, then when one of the other hens hatches some eggs, I will sneak them in.
        Rhode Islands are red;
        North Hollands are blue.
        Sorry my thoroughbreds
        Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RacetrackReject View Post
          And PS, NEVER EVER EVER google Polish chicks looking for photos of chickens....especially from your work computer. Those were not chickens...
          Had to read this bit twice to "get" it! Yeah, it's been a LONG day!

          LBR

          Did make me snort tho when I did!
          I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

          R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed

          Comment


          • #6
            I have about 150 layers...mostly young barred rock pullets. The older hens will be hitting two years old this summer and they are mainly Wyandottes, White Rocks and Buff Orps. I have also got Welsummers, Golden Laced Wyandottes and a few Ameraurcanas....so yes I understand being a chicken collector. I have one barred rock pullet who has gone broody and is sitting. I had several others act like they wanted to brood but when I moved them to a private suite, they quit being broody.

            Anyway, I also have 2-3 (one is kind of wishy washy) Bourbon Red turkey hens that are brooding. They have 20 eggs or more per nest so I can't imagine how many poults I may get. Fingers crossed...turkey poults of rare breeds are pricey.

            I have also got about 85 broiler chicks growing but their life expectancy is short...they are not all that fun to have around...lucky for me...not so much for them.

            This is what I really want though...I'm in love...I would LOVE to have a small flock of Swedish Flower hens.
            http://greenfirefarms.com/store/cate...h-flower-hens/

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              You are going to make me buy more chickens DDB!!! lol I am glad that you make my operation pale in comparison though....lol.

              I have 2 Mille Fleur D'Uccle chicks that should be colored quite similarly to your Swedish Flower Hens, but Bantams of course.

              I have hatched turkey eggs with a broody before, and, ended up with 10 chicks out 12 eggs. As with all my broodies, I have set routine I do to make sure they definitely seem like they want to stay broody before I let them keep eggs. For about a week I kick them off the nests every day and take their eggs. Usually, after this, if they want to actually set, they start getting a bit more adamant in their refusal to leave the nest. That is when I let them have eggs, give them a feeder and waterer, and wire them off so others can't get in.

              Good luck with your turkeys!

              I have some Silver-laced Wyandottes, Buff Orpingtons. Black Stars, RIR, and tons of EEs (my egg buyers like colored eggs). The Bantams are just for fun as I don't think their eggs will really be sellable since they are so small.
              Rhode Islands are red;
              North Hollands are blue.
              Sorry my thoroughbreds
              Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, I have too many really. My BR pullets are just about ready to lay market sized eggs. They started laying in January and I've donated tons of tiny eggs to the local soup kitchens and churches as I had too many to sell off season and who would buy those tiny eggs when I had plenty of big ones? So they did not get wasted at least. I have maybe 85 to 90 of these pullets and some roosters.

                My older 35 hens (White Rocks, Silver laced Wyandottes, Buff Orps, Welsummer) or so are going to be getting placed into adoptive homes (hopefully) later this summer. They are not going to have a high enough lay rate to be economical to keep for a market farm. I have another 15 Golden Laced Wyandottes that will need homes also by winter as they will be two years old in October...so if anyone wants some hens that will lay maybe 2 big eggs a week...let me know. I'd rather place them with folks than slaughter them. I'm kind of fond of my girls.

                The problem with selling eggs at the farmer's markets is that it's seasonal. You need a certain number of regular customers to keep you going all year long but the demand for eggs peaks in May-Oct. So I tried to time the pullets coming of age and seemed to get it about right. The reason the eggs at these markets are so pricey is that you have to raise the pullets from hatching to six months old to get decent sized eggs out of them and then get by 7 months of the year selling eggs locally for less money. I'll probably let the young hens "rest" this coming winter with no lights or anything as I had way too many eggs midwinter.

                Anyway...the issues of having that many chickens are major...sometimes I think I'm insane. My feed bill is insane.

                My fantasy is a small flock of those Flower hens, natural breeding, and self sustaining. I really don't want to buy stock in Purina and it feels like I have feeding that many heavy laying birds.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Now you have me curious. I have hens that are 3 and 2 years of age. My 3 year olds don't lay as much, but then they weren't great layers to begin with, except the EEs, they still crank out eggs regularly. My 2 yr olds were slow to start after their full molt, but they are back up to laying every day. Those are SLW and Buff Orps. Are chickens supposed to slow down from laying every day at their ages? I never really thought about it before.

                  I don't sell at the Farmer's Market's here because the people are bitchy and they already have someone who sells eggs that they seemed quite happy with. I do have several regular customers that buy 2-3 dozen every week and one that buys around 9 dozen a week, which is enough to keep my chicken's in feed. If I have extra eggs at the end of the week, I give them out to neighbors. I've tried calling the food pantry about 50 times, but they are never open or never answer the phone.

                  You are a real business though and I'm just a rank amateur playing around.
                  Rhode Islands are red;
                  North Hollands are blue.
                  Sorry my thoroughbreds
                  Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RacetrackReject View Post
                    And PS, NEVER EVER EVER google Polish chicks looking for photos of chickens....especially from your work computer. Those were not chickens...


                    It's astonishing what you find while VERY innocently looking for something ENTIRELY different

                    I just got my first chicks - 8. 3 Sex-link, an Easter Egg (which may be an Ameraucana? seems they can be difficult to tell apart), a RIR, an Australorp, a Naked Neck, and a Cochin cross. They are adorable, quite friendly at less than 2 weeks and 1 week, and I just know, I can feel it in my bones, that I'm going to want to collect all the friendly breeds out there
                    ______________________________
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RacetrackReject View Post
                      Now you have me curious. I have hens that are 3 and 2 years of age. My 3 year olds don't lay as much, but then they weren't great layers to begin with, except the EEs, they still crank out eggs regularly. My 2 yr olds were slow to start after their full molt, but they are back up to laying every day. Those are SLW and Buff Orps. Are chickens supposed to slow down from laying every day at their ages? I never really thought about it before.
                      Generally after 2 years of age, the hen's lay rate drops dramatically. The eggs are generally larger and sometimes double yolked but fewer and fewer. Most of the for profit farm will cull the hens at that point. Generally that means slaughtering them.

                      I'm kind of squeamish about slaughtering my "girls" as I've gotten pretty fond of them. I could let them live out their natural lives but it doesn't make much sense from a business perspective since they will lay way fewer eggs and eat just as much as before. They are not worth much as "stew hens" so I'm wondering if processing them would be more trouble than it's worth. In the huge factory farms the old hens would go for pet food or something along those lines which is a reasonable use for them...just not economical on a small scale like I have.

                      Anyway, I kind of thought it might be a nice idea to "adopt" them out or sell them for $5 to folks who want a backyard chicken who is laying but is older but don't care if they are getting two eggs a week versus four a week (as most of my chickens do). That way they find homes and I don't have to worry about them any more.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just be glad it is chickens, not horses you are obsessed with.
                        Chickens take much less room and finances, don't live as long and you can use them once more in your pot without everyone and their dog calling you names.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Daydream- how long do hens generally live?

                          LBR
                          I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

                          R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            LBR...I'm told about 4-5 years old. None of mine are that old yet.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ladybugred View Post
                              Daydream- how long do hens generally live?

                              LBR
                              I have one banty hen who is at least 6 years old and a couple that are 4.

                              Chickens are highly addictive! I have a flock of 35. Most are Ameracauna and EE's with Barred Rocks and Barred Rock/Polish rounding out the mix. Currently, I have 42 Ameracauna eggs in the inclubator and 60 meat bird chicks on order...oh, and 6 Gold Laced Wyandotts chicks on order too.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have a chicken addiction as well. I have 50+ birds (not exactly sure how many). I have dodged a bullet twice by going in to TSC and them having zero chicks there, whew! Last time they had some Silkie babies in the worst conditions--I had to buy all of them. I still look at the Meyer chick catalog and look for private breeders of show quality birds to add.....someday, LOL!

                                DDB--Greefire Farms have some awesome chickens!!!
                                I LOVE my Chickens!

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Hot Polish chicks photo (with Silkies behind)
                                  http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot...57946163_o.jpg

                                  I have around 35 chickens and now have a total of 20 babies.. >.> I try to buy some pullets each year to add to the flock so I have overlap in egglaying as chickens molt or get older. It has worked fairly well for me so far.
                                  Rhode Islands are red;
                                  North Hollands are blue.
                                  Sorry my thoroughbreds
                                  Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I'm getting my first chickens this spring and I have a question...how do you find buyers for your eggs? And could I expect to break even from egg sales vs. feed if I can keep a dozen for me weekly and then sell the rest...thinking 6 hens? Also, I wasn't aware that they stopped laying at that age...are layers good for processing or is it not worth considering? I have a contact for processing the chickens for me at $2/head...

                                    Total newbie here, but I can see there is quite a chicken obsession!
                                    For things to do in Loudoun County, visit: www.365thingstodoloudoun.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Raises hand...

                                      I presently have 25 hens and POL pullets, have 16 chicks on order from Meyer for early June, am picking up some BLue Orpingtons chicks next week, but only six of them so I think I'll need to buy some feed store chicks locally to keep then company. Chickens are so much easier to collect (and feed = afford) than horses.
                                      "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        You guys are already killing me - I'm feeling an itchy need to stop in Southern States tomorrow to see what the Chick Truck brought!
                                        ______________________________
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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