Long-term planning. . .

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by horsewishr, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    Sorry, this will probably be rambling. . .

    I got my first 4 pullets this spring, and they have about a month to go before they start laying. But I'm already obsessed with the thought of having a constant supply of eggs--maybe 6 a day. Obviously 4 chickens will not give me 6 eggs/day. And if I run out and buy another 6 pullets, they'll all be the same age and will all "dry out" at the same time. No "constant" supply.

    I don't plan on ever killing/replacing any chickens. They'll have homes for as long as they live. I don't know how many older, non-productive birds I'll have to plan on, and just how long they live beyond their egg-laying years. Do they completely stop laying at a certain age? Or just slow down a lot?

    Theoretically, how would I go about getting to my 6 eggs/day target (and staying there one I've achieved it)? I could comfortably keep 12 hens in my current coop, and I have room for a second coop, if necessary. I'm thinking it might be easier to have two separate, small flocks--rather than a single large one. But should I start the second flock right away? Or wait until the first coop is full?????

    My husband won't admit it, but I think he'd actually look forward to building a second coop and getting more birds. [​IMG]
  2. HenHaven

    HenHaven Songster

    Mar 3, 2007
    Coarsegold, CA
    I am one year ahead of you in my chicken saga, so I can tell you my experience. Last spring, I started out with 6 pullet chicks (got 7 but one was a roo)[​IMG] Later in the summer, July, I think, I wanted some dark-egg layers, so I got some Welsummers. I didn't get any eggs fom them until the following spring.[​IMG]

    If it were me, I would get my next chicks EARLY next spring. That way they are almost a year behind your others, but will start laying late spring, early summer.

    I am concerned about the aging factor too. What I am doing this year, is phasing out my 2, one-year-old Cuckoo Marans. I am lucky enough to have a friend who needs a few replacement layers, so I am selling her some pullets at onset of lay, and also the CMs. This wouldn't work if you are very attached to all of your girls. I just never made a connection with the CMs, and their egg color was disappointing.

    So, I guess my plan is phase out a few each year to good homes, keep my old favorites, and try to refresh the flock a little each year. [​IMG]
  3. schmoo

    schmoo Songster

    May 7, 2007
    West MI.
    horsewishr- I sent you an email. Sometimes they don't work from here so let me know if you received it please. [​IMG]
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I think it's more the commercial egg layers that have that big drop off in egg laying after a couple of years. Chickens you raise at home, with better care and a better diet, especially some of the heritage breeds, seem to be much more steady layers over time.
  5. Wolfpacker

    Wolfpacker Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    Excellent Question, Horsewishr. What do we do with our girls when they stop laying, we need more layers, but we have limited room?
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    If I am rotating birds. I just sell the ones that have slowed down or eat them.
  7. rosyposyosy

    rosyposyosy Songster

    Jul 11, 2007
    nevermind [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2007

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