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On 3/5/2021 at 9:35 PM, Ronald_55 said:

Anyone use sand? We use it in a lot of reptile cages, but not sure if the chickens would just scratch it all out. With it, you could almost just sift and wash it in a wheel barrel, let it dry and add it back,. Obviously you would need a coop with flooring. 

Sand is good, but you want to make sure that you are using construction sand and not all purpose or playground sand.  The later just gets nasty and can't be cleaned. 

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  • 2 months later...

Forgot to update my own thread!

Went to my friend’s house a couple months ago to pick up the chickens. He and his woman had picked out a batch of different breeds for me to try and had them ready to go. 

Got what they’re calling a barred buff rooster and his sister (both beautiful), an Isa Brown, a Buff, two Barred Rocks, two Rhode Island Reds, and a Maran. 8 hens and one rooster. 

Coop is about 10x12. Pen is about 25x50. Well fed and watered. They seem to be happy. Averaging close to 4 dozen eggs a week. That keeps me in enough eggs, plus I’m able to supply some to my son until they can get their flock going. On occasion I’m able to give a dozen to my mother-in-law, and a dozen to my neighbor. 

So far I’ve found that I’d love to have a flock of the Marans since I love those rich eggs. Other than that I’m still trying to learn who’s laying what. Somebody is laying a little bitty egg and I do need to figure out which one that is  

I want to increase my flock by next year. My goal is to produce enough eggs to be able to give them to close family on a regular basis. 

They’ve really been no trouble at all and I’ve been as happy as I can be. 

Now for some milk goats.:........

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On 6/7/2021 at 9:10 AM, res308 said:

I want to increase my flock by next year. My goal is to produce enough eggs to be able to give them to close family on a regular basis.

Try staggering your flock. Their egg production blooms early in life at about 6-12 months, then fades to about 3 years of age, where it pretty much stops altogether. What you do with them when they stop laying is up to you, average lifespan is 5 years. My wife has insisted we'll run a retirement community if need be. 🙄

We're "at that point" with 4 of the 7 we have, maybe 1 egg/week/bird. The other 3 are younger, and still producing well.

My wife has 11(!!!) more coming up, they'll be laying by the end of summer. Not a smart system.


...  if ones goal is to have say 16 chickens producing eggs, it would be best to add ~4-5 per year, vs throwing a dozen into the coop one year and waiting until they die off or get eaten. That way you will have a steadier supply vs. Boom/Bust cycles as the birds age. We also seem to lose at least 1-2 birds per year to predation, etc. That mostly happens when free ranging, but once something (racoon) reached through the fence and got a couple while sleeping.

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