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What breeds will you have next year?
Many of our backyard favorites are returning including: Americanas, Barred Rocks, Black Australorps, Black Sex-Links, Buff Orpingtons, Golden and Silver Laced Wyandottes, ISA Browns, Rhode Island Reds, Sapphire Gemsand Speckled Sussex among several other breeds.
One new breed we are offering are Crevecoeurs, a larger bodied hardier and more productive crested breed that we have found adjusts more readily to mixed breed flocks, in addition to White Crested Black Polish. French Black Copper Marans and French Wheaten Marans will be apart of our seletion which lay darker and more speckled eggs. Columbian and Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, breeds are returning as well for a total of 4 varities of the winter-hardy wyandotte.
We have yet to decide on sexed female Silkies and ducks.
What determines the price of your birds?
Our prices have been determined through much consideration as to the cost of the initial chicks and the costs of raising birds up to maturity. By purchasing your birds through Haven Hens you avoid chick raising problems, and roosters.
Rarer and more uncommon breeds and colors cost more Cream Legbars and Lavender Orpingtons start around $8 to $9, compared to $3 to $4 for Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds.Sexed female Silkies start at $15 for most sources. Vaccination for Marek's and coccidiosis adds another 30 cents to 1 dollar per bird. Many hatcheries have minimum order numbers far greater than what our average customer purchases or significant fees on lesser numbers of birds.
Running one heat lamp typically costs $25 to $30 per month. As we start our birds over winter to ensure eggs come spring and summer, we typically end up providing heat beyond 8 weeks and gradually reduce this further to a more general temperature.
When ordering chicks, losses and roosters should be expected. Many hatcheries offer a 90 percent guarantee on their sexing meaning that you could still end up with 1 rooster per every 10. We had 2 roosters out of an order of 30 that were supposably 1 out of 15,000 birds with color sex-able ISA Browns one year. Straight run can be risky and my daughter has gotten 15/15 and 10/12 males across three breeds of bantams.
Our price is a cumulation of the costs incurred to taken to raise them; the initial costs of the chicks, the feed and electricity- alongside our time and is determined in accordance with the market.
Are your birds vaccinated?
It is our practice to have all our chicks vaccinated for coccidiosis and Marek’s.
Coccidiosis is called by a protozoa that is found wherever fowl has been kept previously. It can cause problems among younger birds frequently causing bloody diarrhea and death. By keeping your brooder clean, coccidiosis concerns can be greatly reduced.
Marek’s affects birds most severely when are a few months old. Mortality rates vary wildly with half of ones flocks being lost in some more severe cases. This disease commonly causes grey eyes with shrunken pupils, tumors within the body cavity and paralysis leading to a slow death. Any exposed birds are carriers regardless of their vaccination status though vaccination greatly reduces and largely eliminates symptoms. If you have a mixed age flock and tend to bring birds to or from shows, swaps and sales. We strongly recommend getting birds which were vaccinated.
How are your birds raised?
All our standard sized chickens are brought in as sexed female chicks. For the first three weeks of their life, they are started in the brooder where we can best regulate the temperature of the room. As they grow, they are moved into the pens of the coop and continually given more space as they age.
Ultimately, they are given the back portion of the barn and weather permitting they have outside access. Our work on redoing the fence will allow us to potentially move them into chicken tractors and give them even more space. With 2023’s extreme weather they haven’t gotten to have quite as much fun in the sun.
Our birds are started on a high protein starter feed that is finely ground. At 16 weeks of age we begun to mix layer feed into their diets and by 18 weeks of age they are transferred over to layer feed. With outside access grit is provided to aid in digestion and oyster shells as they begun to lay.
Will you have other fowl this year?
We will be cutting back on our other fowl this year and are still debating ducks.
Sexed female ducks range from $12 to $18 from most hatcheries. Some of the breeds of ducks we had were brought as unsexed with the males being processed with a minimal amount of meat.
Whilst guineas are prized for their consumption of ticks, they can be flighty, loud and like to roam, the guineas we have have been unsexed which makes them less desirable to the average flock owner. The costs of obtaining heritage turkeys and that they are unsexed also made them undesirable whilst we greatly adored their personaities,