Am I On the Right Track? -- Ideas for Small, "Farm Egg" Project

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 3KillerBs, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2009
    North Carolina Sandhills
    I work at a produce stand which sits on about 3 acres of grass entirely surrounded by barbed-wire-topped, chain-link fence -- dog-proof when locked up at night.

    My co-worker and I were thinking about proposing to our boss that, in addition to tending the stand, we could tend a small egg operation on the back of the property, which would make good use of unused space and absorb the large amounts of fruit and vegetable waste that a farm stand inevitably produces. I was crunching some numbers and wanted to know if I'm on the right track. So here goes,

    Sex-linked, brown egg layers ordered in early January would begin producing eggs about May, right?

    50 sex-linked, brown egg layers would produce about 4 dozen eggs/day once laying is well established and keep it good production at least until winter, right?

    Assuming that they will begin going out in their runs as soon as they are feathered, they would need about 50 square feet of brooder space with at least 2-3 brooder lamps for the first few weeks and then could be kept in the 12'x16' coop until they can go out, right?

    They would need about 15' x 30' for each run. But I don't know how many runs there should be to allow some grass recovery. I'm thinking 3 -- for a space about 45" x 30".

    They would need about 10-12 nestboxes and 50 feet of perching space, right?

    Does anyone know if any of the sex-link breeds are superior at foraging and/or more heat-tolerant than others? I'm in central North Carolina and our usual weather is HOT and HUMID.

    Right now this is an entirely theoretical exercise. But after the season is over, if the info all works out, we'll propose it to the boss for next year.
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Generally, yes. But you have to remember that chickens are animals, and aren't always predictable in their habits. I think your runs are a bit on the small side for 50 hens, especially since you mention you want to rotate runs to keep grass. I'd make them bigger if you can.

    Both red or black sex links in my experience have been hardy.

    Do you tend to this stand year round? You will still need to care for the chickens all year, which may not be convenient. Some things, like an automatic door opener can help make it easier.
     

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