Wife wants to know about chickens

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Well,now I've gone and done it. Been telling my wife about the fun I've been having reading the forum, and all the help I've been getting from the questions you good people have been kind enough to answer for me.So tonight I show her the forum and a whole new side of her emerges She would like to know approx. how many eggs she could get from 6-8 laying hens.Seems like she's been a homesteader at heart and your forum has brought it to the surface. Be prepared, she says raising goats will be the next thing she wants to know about, although I've told her whatever she gets into has to at least break even, and hopefully turn a small profit.

-- larry spearman (lspearma@exotrope.net), January 21, 2001


If I recall correctly, it seems that most hens lay one per day, with few exceptions, after they "get into the groove" of doing so - which happens at different ages for different breeds. Sometimes, somebody will skip a day or so, and illness and stress can also affect egg production. I would count on an average of two-thirds the eggs - per day - as you have chickens, over a year's time. Am I getting this right, guys?

-- Soni (thomkilroy@hotmail.com), January 21, 2001.

Sounds about right to me. We had 6-8 R.I. Reds and Barred Rocks and during the summer we got 6 eggs a day usually. Some days we got 4, and in the winter we got 1 every 3 days unless we supplemented them with more light.

-- JC (survivors00@hotmail.com), January 21, 2001.

Larry, Sounds like my house! DH found this sight a year ago and this year we fight over online time. He has been reading up on homesteading and preparing his heart for a couple of years now. I spent alot of childhood on Grandpa's farm and the memories are what make me want to homestead too! Tell your wife she's on the right road and not alone!!!

-- queen (queenbuffness@hotmail.com), January 21, 2001.

I have two Rhode Island Reds, a Dominiker, and a little bantam hen that I'm not real sure what she is at this point, and I'm getting 2 to 4 eggs a day right now.

Am hoping to add to my flock soon, and line up a couple of customers for the eggs, and break even on the feed, which shouldn't be too hard to do.

-- Eric in TN (eric_m_stone@yahoo.com), January 21, 2001.

I've done the math a couple of times, and chickens might make a small profit, if you can grow some of your own feed, but goats will make a profit even if you have to purchase all their feed -- IF you can use all their milk! (I'm not talking about a profit from selling products, though you could do that too, but from saving on stuff you'd otherwise have to buy.) There are some variables, such as housing -- we tend to scrounge materials for our animal shelters, or use what we already have. But if you go out and purchase all new materials and build a goat palace, then your savings/profit will go right out the window!!

-- Kathleen Sanderson (stonycft@worldpath.net), January 21, 2001.

My chickens lay 2-5 eggs a day. They are exposed to natural daylight. There is plain feed each day, including scratch, grit, and Purina. Some chickens hang outside wersus others only interested in the inside. Be patient, feed them well, give them maximum real light.

-- Anne (HT@HM.com), January 21, 2001.

Larry, we had 29 chickens this summer, and got 24 to 26 eggs a day. things were going great until we went out of town for a couple days and the guy who was going to watch them forgot. We now have 4 full grown chickens, 3 Rhode Islands and one White Rock. we also have 25 pullets that are just starting to lay, my daughter and I just went out and got our second pullet egg. They are small and round, but get big fast. Last year we sold all the eggs we got, and did not have to buy eggs at all. My daughter loves them, and does not want white eggs at all. We did not go into this to make money, but the money we got from selling the eggs more than paid for the food and our girls divided the extra for their spending money. It is a lot of fun, and we have one red that we call renagade. She jumps the wire and will come right up on the deck when we are eating. they also come when my daughter goes out side with a white bucket and bangs on the side. We use the bucket to bring out the table scraps and treats that we give them. You should see 25 chickens running across the yard to get to the treat bucket. My daughter has a mild form of CP and the chickens are something she can do and make a little money doing. Let me know if you have any other question. Steve

-- Steve Collins (collins@cpinternet.com), January 22, 2001.

who and where did you start selling you eggs to? I usually give my extras away. I have 6 batams, two are Golden Seabrights the others are Heinz 57 and two Araucana. No one has been laying at my house for about two weeks and then today I got two eggs. I don't think we built the coop in the right place because it's the same every winter now for 3 years. Not enough sunlight is the problem I think. Anyway, I am always giving away eggs, where should I look to sell?

-- cindy palmer (jandcpalmer@sierratel.com), January 23, 2001.

Here's a great site to learn a bit about chickens:

Scroll down to the index http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/BRKPoultryPage.html

My chickens free range during the day, do not have heat nor light ('cept the sun) and lay all year 'round.

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), January 25, 2001.

Chickens are wonderful! I've had them all my life except this past year. A neighbor's dog got all ours last year and we will be replacing them soon. I miss them! Ours constantly lay (yes, about 2/3 the number of eggs as chickens) except in the latter part of July and August ~ I live in Texas where it can get HOT and that seems to affect them negatively. If they're moved or otherwise stressed out, that can affect egg production as well. We have our chicken coop under a big shade tree and let them out during the day so they can range. If you choose to do this, don't let them out until they get old enough to start laying. Seems that once they do this, they know that that is home and will roost there every night. I can tell you that you need to have GOOD fences before you get goats. I don't have any goats because I have cattle and horse fences that goats can get through. My mother (who lives next door to me here on the ranch) would KILL me if she walked out one day to see a goat standing on top of her Lincoln Town car!

-- Wingnut (wingnut@moment.net), January 25, 2001.

First of all: Anne, I trust you are talking about several chickens, If you have 1 chicken laying that much, I hereby offer you a kazillion dollars for that chicken! But anyway, different breeds lay more or less. They are driven by daylight, and the number of hours thereof. All will respond to light, and some breeds produce better than others. Best producer of white eggs: White Leghorns. But white eggs are considered "foreign" (read: southern, as in Massachusetts, which is Ted Kennedy country, which is liar country, which backed the worst president ever, etc., etc) here in Maine! There is, of course, no difference. I have had good luck with White Rocks, Black Australorps, Buff Orpingtons and a few others. Get a few and see how you like them. And GL!

-- Brad (homefixer@SacoRiver.net), January 27, 2001.

I was wondering how much you all sell your eggs for. We've always sold ours for a dollar a dozen, but I think we need a price hike. Just wondered if the price varied much around the country. BTW we're in MT.

-- Kari (prettyhere@truevine.net), January 29, 2001.

Hello all, I have 24 batmas right now and have 3 sitting on 7 eggs each. i love when the babies hatch and watch the mother hen care for them....but i have 1 game hen that i will put at least 12 eggs under her when she goes to sitting. i know this doesnt relate to the question but i just wanted to share my love of chickens...right now i get around 10 eggs a day. some of my hens are to old to lay eggs but i would never get rid of them for that...thanks

-- Rhonda Owens (rhonda011@hotmail.com), March 01, 2001.

You won't get an egg a day from chickens as it takes slightly longer than 24 hours for a hen to produce an egg. I seem to recall it takes 27 hours, but this may not be exact but close, so in a week you may get 6 eggs provided there is not a drastic change in weather, temperature, etc. Some chickens seem to be more affected by weather change particularly as they get older. They also need 14 hours of light a day for consistant production. This can be accomplished with supplemental light on a timer in the chicken coop. I sell my extra eggs for $1.75 a doz. but I don't believe that pays for their feed, where I live anyway.

-- Duffy (hazelm@tenforward.com), March 01, 2001.

In response to Kari...I am selling mine for $1.50 this year. Everybody wants freebees and have done that for last couple of years..no more..most of mine go to the hubbies work pals.. I don't have to put a sign out as word of mouth travels fast out in the country..if you are just starting out tell a few friends and they will tell a few friends and you will be off and running before long. The price is different according to what part of the country you live in. a buck fifty is pushing it here but they are well worth it.

-- Lynn(MO) (mscratch1@semo.net), March 01, 2001.

This is not an answer to your question, but a question. I, too am trying to become a mini farmer. Today we are picking up 12 RIR hens, 1 rooster, 6 Sexlinks, 1 turkey. We will keep them in large rabbit hutches until they are bigger. We live in Florida where it's about 80 today. Do I need a lamp in the hutch with them at night? How much should I feed? I have two hutches and will separate them evenly. I plan to keep the turkey with the hens, as long as he is nice to them. We are not planning on selling the eggs but will probably give many away to the elderly where my husband works (when the time comes). When do they start laying eggs (I heard six months)? We are building a moveable chicken hutch made out of chain link fence with hutches on one end and fence on 5 sides and rabbit wire on top. It should work out well and keep the predators out. I would appreciate any input.

Kelli Smith

-- Kelli M. Smith (starmanandfamily@hotmail.com), April 10, 2001.

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