Originally Posted by Joplus
Originally Posted by aart
What is that other animal in there......where are you located?
I stew or sell my older hens(2.5yo) every fall to make room for new layers.
I'm in Arizona. That's a Patagonian Cavy (it was a gift). But of course he needs a little space in there too. There's a guinea pig in there too. I think we should eat my older ones but that's a tough choice. I'll see if my husband agrees. The older girls are such good layers still. I want like 5 less hens but I don't want to end up eggless at any point either. We use a lot of eggs and share with our neighbors.
It's hard to balance the number of eggs you need/want, the number of birds that you can healthily house, the ages of birds, and when to hatch and when to harvest/trade.
I think I've settled on those numbers after a couple years of operation/observation.
I have a very tight budget, they need to pay for their feed and bedding with egg sales, and limited amount of coop/run space.
So they give me eggs for a couple years, then they give me meat and I always have fresh group of pullets to lay thru winter.
I'll keep 2 age groups thru winter and 3 during spring/summer, harvesting in fall either for stew/stock or trade for finished meat birds.