The truth is . . I don’t know how many chickens we have and I don’t want to know. Most of the eggs have hatched, with 5 or 6 left that may or may not hatch. I’ll give them til tomorrow afternoon before tossing them. Let’s just say that we have a lot of chickens! We won’t keep them all though. Too many roosters is not good so we’ll try to find homes for the extra roosters.
We have a plan as to which coops will house which chickens and though it will take some moving around, and some “introductions” since we can’t just add new chickens to old chickens cold turkey, it will take a few weeks to work out the details. We try to stick with 4 square feet per full size chicken, and about 3 square feet per bantam chickens inside the coops. Except for the bantams, our chickens mostly run loose. The bantams are kept in pens because they go straight up in the tops of trees at dusk and they don’t last long up there.
Coop #1: This coop has enough room for 18 full size chickens. We currently have 10 red hens in there. The Iowa Blues will be moved over there. We could have up to 8 Iowa Blues but right now, we have 6. Three of them are pullets and 3 are roosters. I would like to end up with 6 Iowa Blue hens and 1 rooster. That would give us 16 hens/1 rooster in this coop. That shouldn’t be a problem.
Coop #2: The image above is when Vince was building Coop #2 a couple of years ago. This is a “duplex” and there’s room for either 12 full size chickens or about 16 bantams on each side. On the north side (where Vince is standing, we have 3 Dominiques and 2 old red hens. As of now, there are 5 hens and 1 old rooster in there. I’ll probably add all the Dominique babies in there once they grow up. I think there are about 8 of them. That will put 14 chickens in there so I may have to put the 2 old red hens somewhere else. On the south side, we currently have 7 bantams and have 11 more than will eventually be added there. Of those 11, there are 4 or 5 roosters and we can’t keep all of them. We may end up keeping the following 3:
- Faverolles – I have two . . a girl and a boy. I would like to keep those and maybe have more from them. Even the roosters are supposed to be kind and gentle.
- Buff Brahmas – I have three of these – two girls and a rooster.
- Screech – He’s such a cute little rooster. Having one rooster and no girls the same breed, whatever breed that is, doesn’t make a lot of sense so we’ll have to see.
That would leave me with 12 hens. The Silky rooster with the turquoise ears is already in that coop. I’m thinking I could put the Buff Brahmas in there and that would give me 11 hens and 2 roosters. Not a great ratio but the two roosters are pretty calm. In one of our smaller coops, I might keep the two Faverolles and see how that goes.
Coop #3: This is the not yet painted coop. It is also a duplex and each side has room for 16 full size chickens. On the east side, there are currently 13 chickens. Six are black copper marans and 7 are from the first batch of chickens I hatched. Once the Dominiques come out, I think that will leave 10 chickens in there so I can add 6 more from the newly hatched chickens.
The west side will be empty once the Iowa Blues are moved in with the red chickens. I will put 16 chickens from the newly hatched babies in there.
In the early fall, we should be able to figure out how many roosters we have, and by then the chickens will be almost full size. We can make adjustments and get the numbers of chickens per coop all lined out at that time.
These are the chicks on the east side of the coop. Notice how they’re mostly all dark.
The photo below was taken Saturday of the chicks that had just hatched.
Notice how many of them are light. The darkest ones are from my Dominique chickens. Can you see the one in the middle against the far right wall? That’s one of the Buff Laced Polish. They are going to be so funny looking. If you can see a yellow one with a black “stripe” down his back, that’s an Ancona. There are a couple of Ameraucanas in this picture, maybe one Welsummer and maybe one Cochin.
Yes, we have lots of chickens right now! 🙂