Monday, January 2, 2006

CHICKENS

I am less than impressed with my chickens currently.  They 7+ months old and after countless amounts (read $$ signs) of grain, pine bedding, light bulbs (Tobin put up a nice little light fixture for them only to have them fly up and break every single light bulb..  then came a new and improved fixture and more light bulbs), man hours of cleaning the coop, a major fix on the coop roof, etcÂ… and today we got 5 eggsÂ… did I mention that there about 30 chickens in the coop?  These are not the first eggs, but let me say we have only gotten maybe 3 dozen.. and this guess is on the generous side.  We also have 10 roosters we deal with. I see chicken butchering in my future.  You would think after doing 5 pigs by ourselves that 10 roosters would really not seem so intimidating.


 


I realize this is not the correct season for eggs.  I still hold out hope that by spring time we will have so many eggs that we will be selling them right and left to our neighbors and city friends and “recooping” all our expense!


 


This is often the other side of homesteadingÂ…  “The reality moments”.  When I lived in the city I had this idyllic view of life on my future homestead.  And I have enjoyed many afternoons of watching chickens pecking and scratching in the dirt and have had the joy of cracking fresh farm eggs onto the frying pan for breakfast, and the fun of taking brown eggs to a city friend.  But this chicken/egg story has two sides that either I never read about OR I refused to view any homestead pursuit in any kind of negative light.. LOL.. 


 


But for now, I am currently buying 5 dozen eggs a week from Costco.     


 


How are everyone elseÂ’s chickens doing with their egg laying?  Maybe I am doing something wrong?? 

9 comments:

  1. You have 10 roosters? With 30 hens or with 20 hens? One rooster can service many, many hens. I would put most of those little guys in the stew pot. You should only need 3 or 4 roosters, tops!! Actually, you need none, unless you hope to have babies naturally. As far as the eggs, you DO need that light - and how cold has it been? And are they penned up so you can FIND all the eggs? They need at least 14 hours of light per day - and will go "off" if it gets too cold. Your roosters might possibly be making the hens not lay - they might be worn out by all that attention!


    Good Luck.

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  2. We have four laying hens and are fortunate to get one egg a day (many days we don't). We don't have any lights on them (and haven't tried). It seems to be a *little* better with the warmer weather, but not much. I guess we just have to wait another month or so for more daylight, maybe? BUT, I enjoy a nice chicken dinner as much as anyone, so it's hard to see how THAT could possibly be the wrong answer. :-)

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  3. I have almost 30 hens AND 10 roosters and yes most of them are heading for the stew pot!! :) I like to have the roosters for fertilizing the eggs and it is fun to occasionally have newly hatched chicks!


    The roosters were supposed to be hens, but when they started crowing I finally had to face facts that there were that many! LOL.. For now we have shoved them out of the hen house to give the hens a break! :) Thanks for the tips!! :)

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  4. Laying crumbles. From someone who Loves your site!

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  5. Hmm..I have 23 hens and I am getting over a dozen a day still with no light and no heat out there at all. I feed my hens a mixture of layer crumbles, wild bird seed (seeds ONLY, not any grains or plant byproducts), and flax seed. I also let them out any time it isn't raining or snowing regardless of the temperature. And I don't have any roosters because I don't want to mess with figuring out which eggs are which! Didn't your hens just start laying when the days got shorter? I had about 4 hens not laying yet when the seasons changed, and as far as I know they are still not laying so maybe they just need to be able to relax in the spring.


    I'm so glad to read your blog here!! I hope you don't mind that I linked your website to mine.


    Leah

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  6. Hi Crystal! I am sorry your hens haven't been laying for you, how so frustrating! I don't have as much experience as some but I'll give you what has worked for us. We have always had a good supply of eggs with our chickens. We had a window in coop to let sunlight in with the nesting boxes in an area that did not get direct sunlight. Our coop is insulated and warm. We fed them a good quality layer ration but never added anything else but scraps to their diet. I have heard that if chickens don't have enough light one day they will stop producing eggs for a while. We always let our chickens out of the coop unless the weather is really bad. I checked out Storeys Guide to Raising Chickens and they gave some good tips and give you the formula for how much window you need for your size coop and such.

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  7. We have one rooster Rory.


    But now he has babies some might be roosters & I always thought roosters would fight?


    Putting chooks in the pot - do you do the deed? And how? Do you keep the feathers?


    Leanne NZ

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  8. I will be asking you lots of chicken questions this spring. We are going over which type chickens we want and building our hen house and pen right now... can't wait!!

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  9. I'm getting NO eggs at the moment! Before the coyotes got so fat here and I had MANY hens, I was getting between 18 and 22 eggs per day!! I had them everywhere, gave them to everyone, and still had eggs coming out of my ears!

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