Selecting best pullets for eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Optiker, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. Optiker

    Optiker Just Hatched

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    The time has come to reduce my flock from 12 three-month old black australorp pullets to the 6-7 I want to keep for egg production. Any tips on how to select the best to keep?

    Probably not relevant, but the chosen ones will be integrated with the three 2-3 year old remaining hens from the previous flock, which collectively are laying an average of about 10 eggs/week.

    Thanks!
    Optiker
     
  2. Mace Gill

    Mace Gill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you're in it for the eggs, cull some of the oldest hens and keep the pullets.

    There are articles here and around the web about feeling for bone structure and looking at the shape of the hen to help determine laying ability ... have a look through some, but it's stilt a little bit of a crap shoot
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Agreed with MG. I would replace all of the older hens at this point. If you had 1 year old hens, perhaps I'd keep them. But, your hens are not laying well. Time to replace them. I would keep the BA's that have the beefiest bodies. Either pick them up and guestimate which ones are the heaviest, or weigh them. Any with off colored feathers? That's a consideration. Personality, always a consideration.
     
  4. Optiker

    Optiker Just Hatched

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    Thanks Mace and lazy...

    I plan to keep the older ones for now since the pullets are still a month or more off from laying. If we have problems integrating them, we'll butcher the old ones, but hope to keep them until they stop laying for this cycle. We're satisfied with their egg production for now.

    I will try to go by weight and build. We do have several of the pullets which are smaller. They are probably at the bottom of the pecking order and may not get as much food for being bullied by the more aggressive ones. No off-color feathers.

    So, your suggestions are a staring point, though I do understand that there's no foolproof method.

    Thanks again!
    Optiker
     
    Mace Gill likes this.
  5. Mace Gill

    Mace Gill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try to adopt out your older layers if you can ... not sure what breed they are, but they could keep laying for years. Some casual chicken keeper may want them!
     
  6. pineapple416

    pineapple416 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with adopting them out since they still probably have many good laying years left for someone who just wants them for pets, and you could get some money for them too. I don't know how you would pick the best egg layers at this young age, but I would just go with the healthiest looking ones. Ones with bright eyes, not to skinny, and the most active.
     
    Mace Gill likes this.
  7. Optiker

    Optiker Just Hatched

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    Jan 23, 2015
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    Mace and pineapple...
    Thanks!
    We'll keep the three older ones for now. They are no trouble and we like them. :)
    Mace....black australorp as in the original post.

    Optiker
     
  8. Mace Gill

    Mace Gill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry, I knew you had said the pullets were Aussies, was curious if the older hens were too! :)
     
  9. Optiker

    Optiker Just Hatched

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    Yes...very pleased with the breed!
    Optiker
     
    Mace Gill likes this.

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