Greetings from the Eastern Shore of Maryland

jpokry12

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 18, 2013
5
0
7
He everyone,

I am new here. We have had our chickens for about 7 months now. We love it. We started buying eggs from a guy down the road from us and then that sparked my interest. So I went on ebay and ordered 13 eggs in hopes that they would hatch and we would get some hens. Out of 13 eggs 1 hatched and it was a Rooster, go figure.

Right after that, the guy we bought our eggs from told us he was selling his farm and he wanted to give us 11 hens! We jumped at the opportunity, but we needed to make a quick coop. Needless to say, the makeshift coop we made was sub par, and after a few months I knew they needed some place better and another person gave us 5 more hens. So with 16 hens, I had to build a nice big coop!

So the new coop is up. I made it out of huge hot tub pallets.

We love our chickens. The kids love getting the eggs and just being around them. The eggs are delicious and our chickens seem pretty happy. I am hoping to gain a lot of insight about raising back yard chickens from this site.

A few initial questions that I have is, how old does a hen have to be to stop laying eggs? Also, what is the best breed of laying hen? We have all different kinds and I am finding that our Buffs, Rhode Island Red, and our Americana's are our best producers.

I am also struggling with the fact that the non producers are going to have to be stewing chickens here soon. Thanks for any feedback and I look forward to your comments.



 

redsoxs

Crowing
8 Years
Jul 17, 2011
25,643
2,087
463
North Central Kansas
Howdy from Kansas, jpokry12, and
welcome-byc.gif
! Happy to have you aboard! Nice looking coop - should make for some happy birds. It's sometimes hard to determine the laying lifespan of a chicken - some folks claim they have 7-8 year old hens that still produce. Obviously, the production by that age would be way down. I think some of the best producers for pure numbers would be the leghorns but the sex-link varieties are also known for great production. Good luck to you and your choices.
 

jpokry12

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 18, 2013
5
0
7
Thanks for the greeting and the information! I am not very familiar with the "sex-link"varieties. What would these be?
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Aug 26, 2009
140,321
286,994
2,097
Out to pasture
welcome-byc.gif
From what I understand' sex links' are a mix of breeds with the end result - producing females of ONE partculiar color. That way you know which chicks are the females. There are red sex links, and black etc. They are known to be reliable layers.

While the production(egg) life of hens varies, they will also stop or slow down when molting, when the seasons wind down and they don't receive enough light, when badly stressed ( critter attack etc) and when some decide to go 'broody," which means, sit on eggs and hatch them. So please don't jump the gun and think if laying slows down they need to hit the stewpot.
 

jpokry12

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 18, 2013
5
0
7
Thanks for the explanation! We will definitely make sure our hens past the laying point before we stew pot them. Thanks!
 

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