It’s November, and as the leaves fall briskly from the trees leaving behind bare branches and short, chilly days, I can’t help but look forward to the spring … And to a new chicken flock with young hens producing wonderful quantities of eggs.
Thanks to an aging hen population, cunning foxes and a mediocre chicken run design, we have only a few egg layers left. We’re ready to rejuvenate our egg laying chickens flock — I’m going to buy baby chickens this winter, brood them in our garage under a heat lamp, and have them outside in a new chicken coop (stay tuned) by the late winter for early spring egg production.
It’s also a good time to teach my kids how to care for baby chicks, and brooding our own day-old peeps will make a fun winter project for the whole family.
I think the best time to buy baby chickens is late November or early December, for egg production to begin in early April. The rule of thumb is that pullets will begin laying at about 20 weeks/ five months of age with variations based on breed and the seasons. Thus buying chicks right about now is a great idea to have a fully functioning flock during the time of year most conducive to egg laying.
As I shop around and make selections, I’ll update this blog to share what baby chicks I’m buying and from where. Do you have a favorite hatchery?