Egg Laying Chickens
your own egg laying
chickens is a wonderful adventure. Whether your
motivation is fun, profit or superior nutrition, a backyard chicken
flock can provide meat and eggs for your family year round. There are
breeds that make the best egg laying chickens. In
general, female chickens, called pullets, will start laying eggs at
about six months of age. However, if they reach this
age during the
cold winter months, they may simply wait to lay until spingtime.
Getting started: The first step to raising your own egg laying chickens is to prepare a chicken coop, scratch yard and run for your flock. Chickens need a safe, dry place to lay eggs as well as roost at night. Chicken coops can be made from purchased lumber, scrap materials, or recycled doors and scrap metal. They can also be bought new online and at farm supply stores. A good set of chicken coop plans is a huge money-saver. Even if you plan to let your chickens free range in your yard during the day, you need a safe pen to contain them when you're gone or if they face danger from local dogs, cats or other predators.
Choosing the breed for your egg laying chickens, unless you inherit peeps or hens from someone else, is next. Commercial egg layers are bred for production and will lay the most quantity and often the largest eggs. They are quite reliable, and most lay almost daily. Other egg layers, including some heirloom breeds, are slightly less productive but may be more fun to raise due to their varied coloring, personalities and egg colors and sizes. In addition to brown and white egg layers, some -- such as Easter Egg chickens -- lay green or blue eggs, and others are pink hued. When ordering egg laying hens online, you will be able to choose based on the color of eggs as well as the breed.
Once your laying hens are safely housed with clean bedding in a cozy chicken coop with ample outdoor space protected by chicken wire fencing, and the pullets reach maturity, you will see your efforts pay off in the form of chicken eggs laid fresh nearly daily. You should plan to gather the eggs a couple times a day to prevent breakage by the chickens. Do not wash the eggs, as they are protected by a thing layer on the shell that keeps the egg fresh. If dirty, wash the eggs immediately before use.
Egg laying chickens are quite useful as they contribute to the family larder. Because of their gentle natures, they also make wonderful pets. Backyard chicken flocks are reappearing accross the country as families work to improve their diets and become more self-sufficient.
Flock Owners say
“ I love my hens! Especially my Araucana chicken becasue she lays blue eggs. ”- Jack, age 8, young flock owner
“ Raising our own egg laying chicken flock yields both a sense of self-sufficiency and incredibly tasty, nutritious eggs.”- maria, AKA jack's mom
"The best thing you can do as a new hobby chicken flock owner is to set your flock up with a safe, secure coop large enough for the number of hens you're raising.
Having the right coop from the start will save you countless tears (we lost too many hens at first to ruthless predators) and money.
You can still let them free range or attach a large scratch yard for outdoor roaming, but starting with a good, large coop gives you the most options in caring for your birds."~Maria
"It's so much fun to have the new peeps! I love watching them peck about and get bigger every day."