Egg production... breeds, free range, feeding etc?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Charlene, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Charlene

    Charlene Songster

    Mar 21, 2008
    My three 6 months old Barred Rocks are like mad women. They each lay an egg a day consistently. I am totally shocked since reading up on the breed, their age, and the fact that I have no rooster I expected only 1-2/day.

    But I think mine are somewhat different than the majority of hens out there, mine are truly free range. They won't even eat the laying pellets I leave out. Apparently there's better stuff to eat out there.

    So is it the environment, or did I luck out with productive BR's or what? I'd love to hear opinions about free range and feed.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2008
  2. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    When mine were allowed to free range they had much better tasting eggs and the feed bill went way down. Now that they cant free range, bummer, I have to pay more for feed and the eggs IMO arent quite as tastey. I pick greens for them and dig worms sometimes but that is nothing to what a chicken could do all day scratching.
  3. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    My own BRs are pretty steady producers. I really like the breed - they are pretty, and lay nice eggs too, and are generally good tempered.

    Having a rooster or not having a rooster does not effect production whatsoever, except that in the case where the rooster is especially 'ahem' over-eager, stress from dealing with the rooster may actually slow down egg production.

    When my chickens get the opportunity to range over the larger yard (about 1 acre, as opposed to their pen which is 80x20) they eat MUCH less feed also, and their eggs have a much deeper yolk color.

    If they have a wide variety of food stuffs in their environment, they tend to prefer the fresh foods to the layer pellets for sure.

    Come winter you may see an increase in the layer pellets eaten between the need for more calories to keep warm and the lack of fresh foods.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    For the first year of their laying, that sounds pretty normal to me. Rooster generally has nothing to do with it as stated before. They will reach a slowing point though when winter sets in, there's less light, and they age. A lot of what you read about the "dual" type birds was probably valid 50-60 years ago when observations were made, but with breeding for eggs and production in most chick sources, they aren't necessarily spot on anymore.
  5. Charlene

    Charlene Songster

    Mar 21, 2008
    My comment about not having a roo was that I heard that a hen will become dominent and not lay. But that didn't seem to happen with mine.

    I do like my eggs, the yolks have a great color and taste. I guess I am lucky with the breed. I only picked the oldest of the chicks the store had, I didn't really know anything at the time. Now I am a huge BR fan! They are steady and friendly.

    I am in Northern California, so I am hoping my winter will be easy on the hens. With the rain they may have more to eat? But it will be colder

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