Chickens – Pullets – Eggs

Homemade 15 hole nest boxes

Winter weather has passed into Springs warmer days and nights.
Now is a good time to visit your local farm store and pick out a few pullet chicks.

Unless you have a large family or you are trying to feed all your neighbors kids, you do not need as many laying hens as most people think.

It takes 24 to 26 weeks to bring day old pullets to laying age. When about 27-28 weeks of age you can expect to collect 1 egg about every 27 hours from each of you laying hens.
Do the math, 1 hen will lay 6 eggs each week. If you use in your baking and your family eats 12 eggs a week you will only need 2 laying hens to meet your weekly egg needs.

Today’s families it seems can never find time to all set down as a family for a hot home cooked breakfast. Unlike my early years being raised on a small farm. In those days everyone was seated the kitchen table at 6AM and we had one of mothers hot good tasting and good for you breakfast consisting of fresh eggs, bacon, sausage or ham, biscuits and gravy. When in season we had a special treat of home fried fresh dug potato’s with bell pepper and onions.

In those days each person eat 2 eggs a day, 12 to 14 eggs a week. I don’t think most families of 4 will eat a dozen eggs a week now days. Our kitchen had to seat 7 kids, mom, dad as well as grandma and grandpa. With 11 hungry people we eat 2 dozen eggs a day. This required a rather large flock of hens. We always had 50 or more hens for both eggs and for table meat roaming around the homestead.

Homemade 4 hole nest box

Brown eggs are better than white eggs. That’s a myth. The only difference in a white egg or a brown egg is the breed of hen you have, some are brown layers others are white egg layers. In general white layers are better layers than brown layers. Most duel purpose hens, that is hens raised for both meat and eggs, lay brown eggs. White egg layers are generally more productive but are poor meat birds and almost never go broody.

What breed is best for you? This is not an endorsement but McMurray Hatchery has many pictures and a lot of very useful information on many chicken breeds that will help you decide what breed is best suited for your needs, facilities and climate.

I require few new birds every year so I am willing to pay a bit of a premium price for sexed birds and purchase them from a local store {Atwoods Home, Farm and Ranch Store} as needed. I’m not concerned about what breed I have and always buy them when they are on clearance sale. **By the way, if you don’t already know, you don’t need a rooster unless you plan to hatch a few replacement chicks.

Even with range raised hens it is very useful to provide them with supplemental high quality lay mash. This supplemental feed provides all their required nutrition needs even when green and insect forage is in short supply.

Build Your Own Nest Box. You will need a nest box for your hens, they really don’t like being out in the open when laying. It need not be fancy. The most important thing is to build and place the nest where it is easy for ‘you’ to collect eggs and clean out the box when replacing nesting materials.

I have used everything from 5 gallon plastic buckets on their side to larger more expensive factory build steel boxes. I’m getting older and now place nest boxes at a height easier for me to see into and collect eggs from them. The only real advantage of the metal or plastic boxes is they are easier to sterilize / sanitize should you get a disease introduced into your flock and when treating your hen house for things like mites.

Not from the USA. Please leave me comment about your home town and country.

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Why is common sense so uncommon?
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3 responses to “Chickens – Pullets – Eggs

  1. These came through a friend who knew a gypsy who had a cousin who bought 100s at a time to filter through his family.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My daughter had a plentiful supply of eggs for herself and to give to friends from retired battery hens. Can you get them in the US? She is looking forward to having some more at her new home, but will have to protect them from the urban foxes that live on the railway and are all but invulnerable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Generally hens are replaced every 2 years.
      An egg production facility(farm) may have 50 to 100 thousand laying hens.
      It simply is not worth the time and effort to sell old hens a few at a time.
      Hens are normally sold in bulk to facilities that process them to sell to end users, like soup companies, and those selling canned chicken.
      Happy Gardening

      Like

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