We would like to introduce our flock of egg laying hens. These girls work from sunup to sundown to provide our family with high quality, organic and non-GMO eggs. We feel these hens are one of the most valuable assets to our food supply on our urban farm.
We have two different breeds of hens which have both proven to be excellent egg layers. We have three hens that are Rhode Island Reds and three hens that are Australorps. Our Rhode Island Reds are about 2 years old and our Australorps are about 6 months old. All of our hens have been laying eggs since they were between 4 and 5 months old.
Egg Production and Diet
All of our hens lay about one egg a day. They do take a day off every now and then and we don’t mind if they do. We feel their egg production is largely due to the excellent care we provide our flock. We provide them with a feed made locally that is non-GMO.
We also supplement their feed with garden, vegetable and fruit scraps. Chickens absolutely love any soft flesh fruits and vegetables such as melons, tomatoes, and squash but they also enjoy their greens too. You can find out what your chickens like just by offering them any fruit or vegetable scraps. You will quickly find what your chickens love to eat based on what they leave behind. Chickens also like different grains and to eat bugs or meal worms.
We also provide our hens with a heat lamp during the winter months. This helps to provide them with the heat to stay warm during the cold winter days but also gives them more light than the days offer. In a shortened day, not all hens would lay an egg because they only lay eggs during daylight hours. Therefore, by giving them a heat lamp this keeps their egg production up all year long.
Type of Chicken Coop
Our chickens are housed in chicken tractors which we move on daily basis. This way they receive fresh ground every day. This also makes for a cleaner coop as we don’t have a coop to clean but only have to change the straw in their nesting box as needed. We very much prefer this over having a stationery coop that have you have clean on a regular basis.
Our Rhode Island Reds and Australorps are housed in separate chicken tractors. This is due to us having the first three hens before we got the second three hens. In our experience with chickens, we found younger chickens to get picked on by older chickens and we had to separate them. Therefore, when we purchased our Australorps we built them their own chicken tractor so that we wouldn’t have to come up with a different housing option at the last minute if they were to get picked on by our older hens.
We Did Our Research
Prior to purchasing our chickens we researched which chickens breeds were the best egg laying chickens. What we considered was not only egg production but whether or not the breed was known to be broody and also the breeds demeanor.
We have had Rhode Island Red chickens previously and loved their coloring and demeanor. In addition, these “Rhodies” proved to be very good egg layers. When we decided to get more chickens we wanted to get a different breed of chicken. This time we decided on the Australorp breed which are known to be good egg layers and to have a calm and friendly demeanor.
We would recommend both of these chickens breeds for small or urban farms. These chickens are very easy to keep. They are also reliable egg layers and provide the most amazing eggs.
Both the Australorps and Rhode Island Reds are beautiful chicken breeds. The Australorps have a somewhat more exotic look due to their feathers being black and having a green tinge to them. The Rhode Island Reds have feathers that are a rich red brown color. In addition, all of are hens have a friendly demeanor and greet you each time you approach their chicken tractor. However, the Australorps not only want you to talk to them but also to pet them more so than the Rhode Island Reds.
If you don’t have your own backyard chicken, research what you are allowed to have in your town or city. The regulations may vary from each town and city. We are allowed to have up to six hens as long as they are contained and our chickens are housed in chicken tractors in our backyard. We are so thankful and grateful to these ladies and what they bring to our urban farm. We would strongly encourage you to start your own flock today if you don’t have your own chickens already. This is a great way to add extra protein to your diet and to control what is in your eggs by what you feed your chickens.
We would love to hear about your chickens or the chickens you are planning to get. Let us know in the comments below. Thank you for stopping by and visiting Sunup to Sundown! We’ll be back soon with another recipe or update regarding our garden or our journey to becoming more self-reliant.