Here are my beautiful 17 week old Hyline Brown gals. I got them as 17 week old started pullets. This is my very first time raising chickens or ever even being around chickens. I am excited and nervous. We have the Chicken Hutch and Pen as a temporary home. We are going to build a coop inside our barn for their permanent coop. We have two open acres of yard for them to range here in Central NH. The egg in the middle is our first egg ever! We are so proud of Penny, our early bloomer, for this. We are all so excited. Matthew is taking it to school. She laid a second today and we all ate it. so yummy.
7-13-09: The girls are now 26 weeks old and all lay an egg a day since they were 20 weeks. My Hyline gals are laying machines, and still ever so sweet! We have a 10 x 10' chain link dog kennel attached to the Chick-N-Hutch run that the girls love. They decimated the grass within the week. Never knew 5 hens could do such a thing to a lawn so fast. Amazing. And they have almost dug themselves out of the run by making big dust bath holes right at the edge of the fencing. I have one girl that is "over ovulating" and laying double and triple yolkers the size of a goose egg as well as laying shelless yolks and eggs everywhere. She seems happy 90% of the time, but I am watching her. There have been a few evenings when we are out sitting with them that she seems in some discomfort, then out pops a shelless egg and she seems fine. I am doubful she will live long if this does not correct itself. She is the top of the order, was the first to lay, and was the largest and most developed girl when I got them as 17 week started pullets. My son prays for her every day. I hope the Lord hears how much he cares for them.
This is our temporary set up. We use the small run as a fort knox. It is almost totally enclosed in hardware cloth, even wrapped around the bottom. The big run is in the process of getting more hardware cloth, but is not completely secure yet. So if we need to be gone for a day or two, we keep them in the little pen. If we are home, they get to go in the big pen. The camera is a Stealth Cam game cam. I am looking for predators at night, trying to see what, if anything, is visiting. They are locked into the little pen which is open to the Chick-n-Hutch at night, so they are pretty safe.