How many chicks will you be buying in 2018?

Kevin

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Staff member
#1
Between the dogs and predators, I am down to around 23 chickens + maybe 6 guineas. My goal is to have between 30 - 40 chickens + guineas.

With only 23 chickens, and some of them around 5 years old, I may add 15 chicks to the flock in 2018.

Local feed stores will start getting their chicks in soon. Hopefully they will get some black jersey giants. Those jersey giants are real sweet and easy to handle. Plus, the lay a large egg.
 
#2
We have used Murray McMurray hatchery in the past. And had excellent service. Pay a little extra and get them sexed - one year we got a straight run of 15, and 7 were roosters.
My wife a number of years ago invested in an incubator and related accessories and hatched a few runs of our own. In our spare bedroom. It was an interesting process, especially with 5 dogs in the house.:p
Right now we have 40 hens plus some roosters, we have not gotten any chicks for the last two years.
My wife is the chicken wrangler and has tried a number of varieties over the 20+ years we've been doing this.
At the moment we have Delawares, Americaunas, Plymouth Barred Rocks, and some odd balls.
 
#3
We have a lot of woods around, right up to 50 feet from our chicken area.
And there are several families of red fox back there.
Years ago, after trying to keep the birds protected using 6 foot 1" mesh poultry wire, and losing at it, we fenced in the 50' X 75' chicken area with 6 foot chain link.
Since then we have only lost two. Judging by the trail of feathers, one jumped up to the top rail of the fence, then over, and was carried off by a fox.
The other fatality was a raccoon climbed the fence and got a hen. He came back the next night and I was ready. Unfortunately for him it is against Florida law to relocate a raccoon, so I did what I had to do. I took no pleasure in it, but the birds depend on us for safety and security.