We’ve enjoyed the chickens and everything they have been doing for the homestead and of course all the fresh eggs. We knew that the first hens we got should be slowing down their egg laying so we made moves to go ahead and pick out the next layers for us.
We were pretty pleased with the last batch of meat birds we got from McMurray Hatchery and decided to use them again for the new round of hens. We love having the variety of colors and sizes of our current flock but ultimately went with a variety of brown egg layers with large/extra large eggs. We figure that will be the most bang for our buck.
We used our tried and true method of keeping them in a big plastic tote. They are on wood chips and we have a cover with a heat lamp or 2. They have plenty of room while they are bitty and we can keep them close by.
Once they get bigger and older, they go into the brooder box, on the porch, with a heat lamp for a little bit. The brooder got an upgrade this year with a fancy, bright green paint job. We needed to protect the wood and get some more use out of the box and this paint was the right price for the job.
We got them ordered just in time too. During the winter, the flock was down to laying just a few eggs a day. Once spring hit, they all started up again but then we noticed our oldest hens had slowed down a lot. They had been awesome layers for us but we wanted to keep up the higher level of egg production.
Once they outgrow the brooder box, they take a turn in the pen addition to the barn. They get more room to grow and can take advantage of garden scraps, just like the big hens.
We’re looking forward to them being good layers for us and having egg production high again.