When to add more?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by grateful, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. grateful

    grateful Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Bozeman, MT
    Besides the want just to get more to have them....... when should i try to get more hens to keep up egg production. My first batch of 26 I revived 4-20-09 and should start laying this month. Should I get more this fall or wait till next spring. Any ideas?
    Thanks
    Travis
    Bozeman mt
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I'm not sure what your goal is, steady egg production, maximize egg production, most efficient egg production, or maybe something else. It does sound like you do not consider them pets but more like livestock but I'm assuming this. The reason I'm saying this is that there are different management techniques for different goals. Some of them depend on how you feel about your chickens.

    For about any goal, though, I'd wait until spring to order the chicks. A standard for people who are raising chickens for eggs is to replace half the layers every year so you are only feeding your hens for their peak production years. This means you would order your second group of chicks in spring of 2010 and keep all chickens another year. Then you would order another group of chicks in 2011. When your 2009 hens go into molt in the fall of 2011, the 2011 chicks should be laying and you remove the 2009 hens. This way you do not feed the 2009 hens through the molt.

    Another strategy is to replace 1/3 of your layers every year. Same scenario as above but you keep your first set of layers an additional year. You have to feed them during their molt and egg production normally drops about 15% (one egg a week less) but the eggs are normally larger and higher quality than the pullets will lay.

    I'm going for the 2 year rotation myself, but my goals may be a little different from yours.
     
  3. grateful

    grateful Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Bozeman, MT
    Thanks so mush. the are for the egg production first and meat second. Not too worried about making a ton of money as the eggs are mostly for my large extended family. I would like to cave the cost, and have a little fun. Thanks so much for the info and it looks like I will be waiting for spring to increase my flock. Thanks.
    Travis
    Bozeman, Mt
     

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