What I try for, but I will be the first to admit, I am just coming off a pretty long dry spell, so take what I say with a grain of salt. And remember the best laid plans (pun intended) well, don't always go as planned. The theory that I am reaching for is to have 3 pullets, 3 going on a year, and 3 that are starting their 2nd year and one more - where ever that bird fits.
But with the best of plans, I never quite seem to get there, although after 9 years, I am getting closer. I have 10 birds as of now in the flock, but that is not a constant number through out the year. I currently have 1 hen who is going on 4 (and she has raised so many chicks, she gets to stay) 3 that are going on 2 years, 2 that are 18 months, and 3 pullets that just started to lay. And the roo. I have been getting pretty steady 5 eggs a day, today 6. Pretty sure Butter is not laying, but hey, she stays. So two others are not laying, and I need to find out who pretty soon.
Last summer I hatched out 11 chicks and got 3 pullets! I mean really, but that is how it goes. One makes up these plans, and the wrong sex hatches, or the wrong birds die or get ate by a predator, so exasperating, and the ones that get ate, they are ALWAYS the ones you like best! ugh!
I am a lazy hatcher, so I will wait for a broody hen. I don't add light, so up here I almost always get a broody hen in June, sometimes late May, sometimes early July. So what happens is the pullets don't begin to lay before the dark days of winter, and often times won't start until the end of January, which is what happened this year, July 4th and July 27 is when I set eggs, too late for optimum production.
So in addition to adding light, you want your new birds hatched early so that they are laying by September, these birds should lay through the dark days of winter, but their eggs will be small.
The real way to have eggs all year round, is to freeze them, when you have a bunch. I mix up 12 eggs at a time, and freeze them in 12 muffin tins, then pop them out and bag them. When I am baking in the winter, I use these eggs, or if I have my whole crew come home. Scrambled no one can tell. In years past, I have had bird lay intermittently through the winter, and with frozen eggs, did not have to buy eggs. This year in November, I moved in a new coup, not sure if that was enough, but no one laid for a long time.
My finale point, one can plan and plan, and things happen, good luck
Edited by Mrs. K - 3/14/16 at 7:04pm