Update and decision on chickens

We have been keeping a log of how many eggs we are getting each day from our 13 hens. On average we are seeing four eggs per day which means that each day approximately nine of the hens are resting and not actively producing. Despite wanting to take this year off and hope that “someone” would decide to sit on eggs, we haven’t seen any inclination in this department.

After several discussions, DH and I decided that the best plan is to cull the flock a bit and add four new baby pullets to the flock. With warmer temperatures, we hope to have a bit of luck with raising them in an area near the main chicken coop. DH and DS will hopefully be able to modify a small wooden structure to accommodate four baby chicks under a heat lamp. It is hoped that modifications and a run between the main coop and the wooden structure will be completed by Friday so that when I run my Friday errands, I can pick up shavings, starter feed, and four baby chicks. If all goes well, we will then see if one of our neighbors who we know eats chickens–they have raised their own in the past and eaten them–would like to have our 3-year-olds (one Astralorp, one buff Orpington, and two black Sexlinks). These four are still occasionally laying an egg (lighter color and thin shell are a giveaway), so if they wish they can see how many they get from them still or not. Additionally, in the fall we will get four to six more baby pullets as we will need to cull out the new 3-year-olds in the spring. Since it takes 5-6 months before they start laying, we hope this will get us moving along again.

So lots of work ahead this week for DH and DS as they make modifications, and lots of work for me in the garden! Hopefully we will have pictures of the new babies this weekend or sometime next week. No time for boredom!

ON A SIDE NOTE: This is why we don’t name our chickens. It is too hard to get rid of them or lose them when you have given them names.

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About susanssnippets

I wear multiple hats: wife of 25+ years, mother and homeschool teacher to DS15, chauffeur/riding companion to DD20, daughter/daughter-in-law, crafter, home engineer and too many others to list.
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4 Responses to Update and decision on chickens

  1. claire93 says:

    I have a question ^^ When you buy a pullet, what is the guarantee it’ll turn into a hen and not a cockerel? Obviously, each chicken keeper keeps chickens for different reasons: for meat or for eggs. I know you have cockerels, do you keep birds both for eggs and meat? We wanted them for eggs so I just bought 20 week olds to start our “flock” because I knew they would start laying straight away. However I also know they won’t lay forever and I will have to decide, in a couple of years, whether to cull and renew stock or to keep feeding unproductive hens.

    • This is actually a good question. At the hatchery where I have purchased all of my chicks, there are certain breeds that they will sell you either “pullets” or “cockerels”. With rare exceptions the pullets have all been hens. My “mistake” last year was in taking the risk on what they call “straight run” Silkies as they can not tell the gender until they either crow or not at 5-6 months. Of the three Silkies that I ordered, all were roosters. I will most likely go back to this same place this Friday and see what they have as I have not placed any specific orders this year. Still they are pretty good at getting you just pullets/hens if you want, which is what I want. When I checked out their website, I found they have several new varieties this year so it will be fun to pick out what I want. Like you, I want them only for eggs however, we chose to have a couple of roosters just in case one of the hens would decide to sit on a clutch of eggs. That to me is preferable to raising them in a separate “brooder” box, but until that happens–brooder box chicks it is. 🙂

  2. claire93 says:

    thanks for that answer Susan ^^
    Thanks to blogs like yours, I’m loads.

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