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Free Loading Chickens

The Chickens arrived here at Stoney Acres on Memorial Day May 30th.  Here’s a picture of them the day they arrived.

 

First Day Home

We decided to not try and tackle raising chicks with our first flock of hens.  So we bought these 9 week old pullets from a local guy who raises a bunch of chickens.  When it is time to replace this flock, I’m sure we will give raising day old chicks a try.  This year between getting a coop build and taking on animals for the first time in a while we just thought pullets would be the easier course.

We have 6 hen’s all of them red stars or red comets.  We chose this breed for a few reasons: First they are a sex-linked hybrid which means we were sure to get all hens.  Second they are a relatively docile breed and fairly easy to handle.  Third they are a good producer of large brown eggs.  Most red stars start producing eggs between 18 to 22 weeks.

 

 

Flash forward three and a half months and our hens are now 24 weeks old; they look great, have adapted well and are doing a great job of keeping the bugs down, eating all our garden scraps and producing lots of material for the compost bin.  There’s just one problem; NO EGGS!!  The dang free loaders!!!

Big bright red combs are a sign that hens are getting ready to lay.  If you look closely at this picture you will see two have nice combs, two are coming along and two still look like pre schoolers.  I have talked with a couple of long time chicken raisers and they assure me that I just need to be patient, the eggs will come.  AUGHHH!!!  That’s easy for them to say, they are already getting eggs!!!

 

As you can tell from my ranting I’m not a very patient person.  I’m just a little excited to get eggs.  Over all the hens have fit well into our life style.  They give the kids some animals to take care of so they are learning responsibility.  We have really enjoyed having them around.  We try to let them out of the coop for at least an hour each evening and we have a blast watching them run around the yard chasing bugs and each other.  Now if we can just get some eggs!!

5 Comments

  1. Jennie- Team Dean September 13, 2011 3:36 pm Reply

    OMG…I feel the same way! Our girls turned 6 months yesterday and still no eggs! We got our when they were aprox a week old and three of the four have bright red combs…now they just need to lay! darn free-loaders!

    http://jennie-ouradventure.blogspot.com/

    • Rick September 13, 2011 4:19 pm Reply

      I’ve got a feeling one of ours is close!! I heard her practicing her egg song this morning!!

  2. Launi September 13, 2011 6:09 pm Reply

    LOVE the chickens, they are so cute! I sure would like to have some yummy scrambled eggs at your house soon though!

  3. Julie September 17, 2011 9:10 pm Reply

    We have 40 girls also. Some free loaders but mostly some great layers. We buy day olds each spring but only about 18 or so, the rest our girls raise or we incubate. We usually let the girls live till the die but this year will be my first year of butchering my own (I do a co-op with my farm neighbor up the road but it changed this year). We have some really unique girls with the mixing and matching of breeds. Enjoy your chickens. Ours are free range, they go to bed at night in the coop and run the 3 acres. We live in the countries world worse deertick population so with them running and eating we don’t have a tick or bug or snake or … well anything that’s nasty. It’s great.
    Take care and have a blessed weekend.

    http://healthywealthandwisenotbutlearning.blogspot.com/

  4. MakeMineCadburys December 18, 2011 4:19 pm Reply

    This made me laugh out loud. I went out there one day and said “Listen up, Ladies. It’s either EGGS or SOUP. You decide!” They started laying about a week later! LOL!!!

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