“A day in the country is worth a month in town”Christina Rossetti

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hen Productivity

We have had hens since the first Fall we were here in 2003. We started with four.
They roost every night in this side of the barn, and this is where they lay their eggs - most of the time. They do have a very nicely decorated home don't they?

For all I know, one of our current eight hens is still from the original four, but we have lost one hen here and there to heat, cold, and a hawk strike one January. 
Every couple of Septembers, we made the trip to Myersdale to get a few more hens to replace and expand the flock.
Carlene and Truffles at two days old in 2005
We also raised a couple day old chicks, and we still have Truffles who must be seven years old now. Pullets start laying at 20 weeks old. Hens best production is during their first two years and then they taper off. Hence the reason to replace them as they age.
What is impressive is that just a few days ago, during all this awful heat, all eight hens gave us an egg. And they are huge.
Not large.
Not Jumbo.

I'm betting it has a lot to do with being free range, pastured hens with about the best life ever.


Linda Myers said...

We're going to get a few chickens when our travel slows down. My neighbor has a dozen or so and we love their Zenlike lives.

Deere Driver said...

Word of caution. Research the breeds for "friendly" birds. Certain ones make better backyard flocks. Definitely no White Leghorns.

And no rooster if you want peace for your hens!

Dawn said...

Hmmm Why no Leghorns? I should just do the research myself, but this seems easier. I have about 4 White Leghorns that the neighbor gave us when her husband passed away. They spend a fair amount of time in the pig pen and I'm always afraid the pigs will eat them. I had a roo too but he was devoured by the recent bear. I have about 30 new pullets (4 months old) that I'm getting ready to transition to the coops. Never did I think that I would be so in love with birds, they scared the poo out of me when I was young. Now, I'm just very thankful for them.

Deere Driver said...

I was always told that the white hens were the unfriendly ones. I have no personal experience, but I have passed along this information(or mis-information)as fact. The place where I got my hens went by the same belief and only gave me brown and black hens since I was keeping a small backyard flock.

Here's alink that recommends breeds based on activity and personality. Seems Leghorns are food aggressive, so that may be part of the "over friendliness".

And check out the survey on this link to choose the right hen for you. I know you may not think of them as pets, but there is some good info.


Amy L. said...

Sweet! I love, love, love the top picture of your red hens with the green grass, bright flowers and weathered barn wood. Beautiful!

Kittie Howard said...

I think it's very nice of your gals to thank you so nicely!