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welderguy
01-12-2009, 12:15 PM
After researching the web and this forum, I still have a few questions that only someone with chicken experience can answer.

The wife and I are going to get some chickens this weekend, we already decided on what ones for egg production, were going with leghorns.

Now from what I have read they produce an average of 300 eggs a year if the coop is set up with lights , I was not able to find any info on how many they produce if there is no light in the coop. any Ideas .

We are only wanting enough chickens to produce maybe 2 dozen -/+ eggs a week, so from what I have read if they indeed do lay 300 eggs a year with the right conditions all I would need was 3 or 4 chickens to get my dozen a week. sound about right.
Any and all comments and help is appreciated Thanks

nell67
01-12-2009, 12:40 PM
Without lights,my chickens lay only about 4 eggs a week right now,and I have about 20 hens,so the production is way down,my daughter in laws mother has about the same number of hens,and her chickens still lay every day.
The lights should be set on a timer to come on about dusk and stay on only long enough to compensate for the lack of sunlight needed,and adjust it as the hours of sunlight increase,in the summer,you will not need the lights at all.

you will have to gather the eggs frequently in the winter to keep them from freezing.

RBB
01-12-2009, 12:43 PM
What do I remember about chickens? Takes 75 to warm a chicken coop enough so you need no other heat source (in Minnesota).

A light bulb is enough heat source to heat a lesser number of chickens.

You can get by with a lot less feed if you let them range (in summer).

Letting them range subjects them to a lot more predators.

Predators: Coyote, skunk, dog, mink, fisher, weasel, hawk, marten, owl - polish up your .22 marksmanship.

Egg production depends on a variety of factors: Heat, cold, age of chicken, change in weather, etc.

I'd get a lot more chickens than you think you need (we always started with 100 chicks) and see how it goes. You can always eat them if you have too many.

RBB
01-12-2009, 12:49 PM
Sorry, Double post.

welderguy
01-12-2009, 12:56 PM
Without lights,my chickens lay only about 4 eggs a week right now,and I have about 20 hens,.

Nell, is that per chicken 4 eggs a week or is that for all 20 per week.

nell67
01-12-2009, 01:25 PM
THats for all 20 for the week.

we had chickens about 6 years ago,and the barn had the light set up and I never noticed much of a reduction in egg numbers at all,except for the normal cycles that the hens go through.

Sourdough
01-12-2009, 02:16 PM
Where are you getting your Leghorns.....? Not to take away from any member advise, but www.McMurrayHatchery.com has been helpful for me. They have a 1-800-# that I can get answers.


For what it is worth, my turkeys and geese all survived three weeks of -20*F and down to -31*F and they have no shelter, no house, no heat, just a chain link enclosure. They have received "NO" water, they eat snow. I feed them and that is all.

welderguy
01-12-2009, 02:52 PM
Where are you getting your Leghorns.....? Not to take away from any member advise, but www.McMurrayHatchery.com has been helpful for me. They have a 1-800-# that I can get answers.


For what it is worth, my turkeys and geese all survived three weeks of -20*F and down to -31*F and they have no shelter, no house, no heat, just a chain link enclosure. They have received "NO" water, they eat snow. I feed them and that is all.

From a farm in east texas best price ive found for young ( under 6 monts old)
layers in my area. found the place on a recent hunting trip.

welderguy
01-12-2009, 02:53 PM
THats for all 20 for the week.

we had chickens about 6 years ago,and the barn had the light set up and I never noticed much of a reduction in egg numbers at all,except for the normal cycles that the hens go through.

wow, thanks for that info, guess I will have to set up a light and timer.

OhioHillbilly
01-15-2009, 09:26 PM
We have been raising Barred Rocks for about 15 years and we've never had lights in the coop. I don't know much about Leghorns other than they are a big breed and good layers.
In winter we put hot water in their feed and the eggs practrically shoot out of the hens. My great-grandpaw taught me that when I was a little kid. The only slow time is when they molt and that won't last too long.

nell67
01-15-2009, 09:30 PM
Hot water in the feed?? I have never heard of that one,my chickens are still free range,but I am supplementing that with feed now that winter has set on,will have to give that a try and see how it works out!

Sourdough
01-15-2009, 09:56 PM
We have been raising Barred Rocks for about 15 years and we've never had lights in the coop. I don't know much about Leghorns other than they are a big breed and good layers.
In winter we put hot water in their feed and the eggs practrically shoot out of the hens. My great-grandpaw taught me that when I was a little kid. The only slow time is when they molt and that won't last too long.

Thought you were going to say you boil the feed for 3 mins. and they shoot out hard'boiled eggs........:p:p:p:):)

welderguy
01-16-2009, 12:12 AM
hopeak, that was funny.
Thanks everyone for all the tips, I really appreciate them

A190
01-16-2009, 11:54 PM
I keep a light on a timer for the winter time. I still get about 15 eggs a week with 30 birds. Some of the older hens seldom lay now, but I keep them around cause they were my first batch I hatched.

The newer ones, Rock Island and Rhodies still lsy well.

Summer time production goes way up

wildWoman
01-17-2009, 03:00 PM
I use a wind-up led lantern made by Freeplay. It's timed by how long I wind it up for. Bright enough for 2 out of my 5 ducks; when i tried to see if the lantern really was making a difference and stopped putting it in, the two stopped laying...rather stupid. No fresh eggs now.

RunsWithDeer
01-17-2009, 03:10 PM
We have a mixture of hens: barred rocks, leghorns and buffs. We have 20 birds, and with a light on a timer we are getting 8-12 eggs a day. We just started with the light in mid December. We like to give the birds a little rest in egg production, we did not get many eggs Oct-mid Dec. Some of the hens are getting old and we will get some chicks in the spring, probably barred rocks, they are doing well for us.
Our chicken coop in not well insulated, and it's been pretty cold, below zero the past few days. So, we have a small electric heater to keep the water from freeezing.

wildWoman
01-17-2009, 03:24 PM
If you have snow, a great and easy way to keep them warmer is to just bank snow against the walls, up to roof level if you can.
For off-gridders, another method that works is to heat up a steel bucket of gravel on the wood stove and hang it into the coop overnight.

Badawg
01-24-2009, 07:02 PM
I have two auracanas and a barred rock and I cosistantlyaverage 2 eggs a day. I don't use lights or heat as I live far south.

Arsey
01-24-2009, 07:36 PM
Totally different climate, I know, but we built a straw bale coop for ours for the winter (it gets below freezing here, Honest!!).
We didn't get fancy at all, the bales were just stacked tightly, a piece of ply was put in for the roof which then had bales put on it and then the whole lot had a cheap tarp wrapped around it. Made a wire door and Bob was your auntie's brother.
Cheap, easy to make, hens loved it and it was mulch in the spring.

nell67
01-27-2009, 05:41 PM
My chickens are playing easter egg hunt with me already,my auracanas have been laying in the loft of the barn,got up there a while ago to pull some strw and hay closer to the opening,and low and behold a nest full of eggs,they play this game too well,most of the eggs were frozen and cracked.

Badawg
01-28-2009, 12:59 AM
They are good at that. I found a big clutch under the table saw....

welderguy
05-29-2009, 09:44 AM
Here is my chicken update, We did not get our chickens the weekend that we had planned on , but did 2 weeks later we were given 11 hens and one rooster, And our daily egg count is between 2 to six eggs a day average being 3 or 4 . Thats with out a light at current time and feeding all our veggie scraps as well as laying pellets.

nell67
05-29-2009, 09:50 AM
My chickens didn't like the pelleted food,they do much better on the crumbless,but I cut that out now because they are still free range and are getting plenty.

RunsWithDeer
05-30-2009, 08:03 AM
We keep scratch and pelleted (or crumbles) food available for our chickens at all times. Mine don't seem to mind if it is pellets or crumbles. They get the run of the yard now that the weather is nice, helps keep the coop cleaner and we enjoy watching them in the yard.

oldtrap59
11-10-2010, 10:41 PM
Was looking through some of these older posts and found this one.Have a couple of comments to make then will be quiet. I have kept chickens for a long time and it seems to me that if you want eggs or meat or both with the least messing around it's a good idea to stick with some of the old or heirloom breeds. Most of these breeds are more duel purpose and probably won't lay as many eggs as some of the new more comercial breeds but they do have alot of good points too. In most cases they'll be bigger and make a better frier if one of your ladies goes broody. (if you have a rooster) Also in many cases your duel purpose breeds are quieter and not so high strung. Will do better under tougher conditions. Over the years I have kept wyndottes,orpingtons,black giants,barred rocks and more others then I'm going to type here. At this time I have a small flock of buttercups and find them to be a nice medium size breed that lay like crazy most of the time. They are allowed some freedom to graze but most of the time they are on a mixed grain feed.( don't use commercial feeds) Some might say I feed a cheap wildbird mix less the sunflower seeds with red wheat and cracked corn added. Hey it works. For those that are thinking of getting a small flock for eggs, go for it and keep an open mind as far as breeds. There's alot of good ones out there that you won't hear about eveyday but they'll darnned sure do the job for ya.

Oldtrap

kyratshooter
11-17-2010, 01:05 AM
New Question;

When spring comes I will be building a portable coop/w run. I expect to keep no more then 6 hens. How much ground space do I need in the run? How many nest boxes? How much room per bird on the roost?

oldtrap59
11-17-2010, 02:53 AM
Ky. I have 13 hens right now. My coop is based on a 4'x8' sheet of plywood or 32 sq feet of floor space. I built my nest boxes on the outside for two reasons. One so as to gives the hens more room and also to make it possible to check eggs without going into the coop.( six nests for my bakers dozen hens) My setup has an 8'x8' attached run 3' high and covered on the top with wire. As I have mentioned before I allow my hens some free run time also. Not everyday but at least a couple of times a week. Right now they seem to really enjoy scratching around in whats left of the garden so(Haven't bothered the winter plants yet) I let them do their thing there. I keep the feed tray in the coop and let the water outside as here I don't have to worry about it freezing. As far as roosts go I have three boards across the end away from the door. Gives my hens about 12' of roost which seems to be enough.

Having some camera problems right now but will post some pics when I can.

Oldtrap

ravenscar
11-18-2010, 10:30 AM
if i remember correctly, the city of maimi sells captured chickens.

kyratshooter
11-18-2010, 11:19 AM
if i remember correctly, the city of maimi sells captured chickens.

I'm not going 1200 miles to get chickens.

Thanks OT your discription lets me visualize what you are saying pretty well. I just want a few eggs and my place is small. I want to build a portable run/coop I can move with the lawn tractor.

I have been hooked. Danged "egg pushers". First they give you a couple of free range eggs. Then you come back for a dozen to make a pie. Before you know it you are walking past the eggs at Kroger as watered down crap and driving across town and into the country for the good stuff!

I just hope I can start growing my own before I get scrambled up in an egg deal gone bad! Strange neighborhood, dogs cats and chickens running loose, kids playing in the yard without a guard. I think I saw a cow hanging around out back.

Rick
11-18-2010, 06:14 PM
I once knew a guy that moved his coop with a lawn mower. Once he got the pen moved there wasn't a chicken to be seen. Lot's of feathers floatin' in the air though. Mower ran funny after that, too. Not eggs actly sure why.

dottie
05-14-2011, 12:36 PM
Winedots are one of your best all-round chicken whether for laying, meat, or setting, or raising their young, and unlike leghorns who are on the hyper-flighty-fidgety nervous side. The winedots are much more ocile and easily handled by Humans.

dottie
05-14-2011, 02:32 PM
When any of my hens do that to me, I end up with 15-20 more chicks.

crashdive123
05-14-2011, 03:06 PM
I once knew a guy that moved his coop with a lawn mower. Once he got the pen moved there wasn't a chicken to be seen. Lot's of feathers floatin' in the air though. Mower ran funny after that, too. Not eggs actly sure why.

He should have turned it in during the cash for cluckers.

BH51
05-16-2011, 09:54 AM
Presently I've got a flock of 8 Buff Orpington hens In a pen that could
be moved with a lawn tractor but I would recommend the Production
Red breed, as they were the best layers I've ever had...Takes a rooster
and an incubator for periodic reproduction, however...Note: dis'engage
the blades on the tractor when moving the pen..Ha,ha.......yeah..BH51

nell67
05-16-2011, 11:29 AM
New Question;

When spring comes I will be building a portable coop/w run. I expect to keep no more then 6 hens. How much ground space do I need in the run? How many nest boxes? How much room per bird on the roost?
I have half the number of nest boxes as I have hens,and usually that is too many,because they all seem to like the same box,even to the point that 2 will be trying to lay in the same nest even though there are plenty of empty nests next door.

If I had a portable run,I would maby have it 6'Lx3' wide,and move it often or they will kill the grass from scratching,I also would water the area I plan to move it to to bring the bugs/worms to the surface,also so they do not have to scratch as much.

The chickens will group together on the roost at night (safety and warmth) so for 6 hens,I would do no more than 10' of roost.

crashdive123
05-16-2011, 12:46 PM
If you add a very small amount of dish soap to the water, it will bring out the insects and worms a lot faster.

Rick
05-16-2011, 01:24 PM
And they will be pre-cleaned for the chickens.

ravenscar
05-16-2011, 02:19 PM
if i biuld a bee hive next to a chicken coop, would they be issues?

crashdive123
05-16-2011, 02:52 PM
Do you really want to gather eggs in a bee suit?

ravenscar
05-16-2011, 02:56 PM
why not i have to wear a fencing mask to visit my sister

Rick
05-16-2011, 03:01 PM
Is she married? If not, I think we have just the guy for her.

ravenscar
05-16-2011, 03:13 PM
dont you dare...

ravenscar
05-16-2011, 03:20 PM
back to chickens, can they be let loose in a 5 acre semi wooded area and survive without feed?

shiftyer1
05-16-2011, 10:32 PM
I have a dozen of so chickens on total free range they only use maybe a couple acres. As long as you have grasses, weeds and bugs in those woods your fine. Chickens will eat anything. Just keep in mind if they are loose you will spend alot of time practicing for the easter egg hunts. Mine lay in the coop for a while and then get bored and lay in some crazy spot, like the back of my truck.

Sourdough
05-17-2011, 01:28 AM
Chickens like meat, so any road kill or guts, etc.

Those "Vile" Turkeys will kill each other and eat the dead bird.

I have fun watching the ermine (weasels) steal the goose eggs, then roll them up a plank and push them off to crack them. Last winter I accidently hit the wood pile with the plowtruck and 10 ermine exploded everywhere.

ravenscar
05-17-2011, 08:04 AM
I have a dozen of so chickens on total free range they only use maybe a couple acres. As long as you have grasses, weeds and bugs in those woods your fine. Chickens will eat anything. Just keep in mind if they are loose you will spend alot of time practicing for the easter egg hunts. Mine lay in the coop for a while and then get bored and lay in some crazy spot, like the back of my truck.

"huney you start the burn barrel?"
"yes, you cookin chicken for din?"
"no, why?"

amateur survivalist
09-27-2014, 04:07 AM
To answer the original question. I'm in mid Missouri currently running about 25 laying hans of various breeds. I have a leanto set up for chicken house. No lights and get between 7-18 eggs per day. The lights don't affect egg laying as rumored... chickens lay an egg every 25-30 hours depending on breed. Now on that note.... the cold and heat will affect egg laying. In winter they lay less eggs and during summer same as well. As stated in a previous comment they go though a molt stage once a year and in the molting stage you will not get an egg from the ones molting. Also if your raising them for eggs. DO NOT let them sit on the eggs if you get a sitter they go broody and don't lay for about a month.

Tootsiepop254
02-08-2016, 06:56 PM
The lights have to be broad spectrum to simulate natural daylight (the same as when force cycling a mare for early breeding)

Sent from my LG-H901 using Tapatalk

nell67
02-08-2016, 08:30 PM
The lights have to be broad spectrum to simulate natural daylight (the same as when force cycling a mare for early breeding)

Sent from my LG-H901 using TapatalkNope, or at least my hens didn't care that I only used plain old heat lamps or el cheap-o solar powered lights, their eye sight is so poor in dim to no light that any artificial light IS sunlight to them. Takes a few days for it to kick in if you have not used a light and then suddenly add one to the coop.

Tootsiepop254
02-08-2016, 08:37 PM
Mine don't even lay if I'm looking at them lol.

nell67
02-08-2016, 08:46 PM
Mine don't even lay if I'm looking at them lol. Anal-retentive chickens,LOL. I have seen them walk across the yard, dip down mid stride as if sitting down, deposit an egg and go on about their business.

Rick
02-08-2016, 09:32 PM
I've done the same thing a time or two. Mine is an age problem though.

ZZSSZ
01-07-2020, 10:11 AM
Hot water in the feed?? I have never heard of that one,my chickens are still free range,but I am supplementing that with feed now that winter has set on,will have to give that a try and see how it works out!

JohnLeePettimore
01-07-2020, 10:56 AM
Here's a new subject:

If I let my chickens free-range, they eat all the cat poop in the yard. They seem to go into a feeding frenzy for fresh stuff.

This bothers me on some level, considering that I've heard that eggs will take on the flavor of garlic or onions if you feed the chickens enough of it.

Any comment?

LowKey
01-08-2020, 08:52 PM
Maybe it isn't really the cat poop they are eating.
Checked the cat for worms lately?

Alan R McDaniel Jr
01-08-2020, 10:47 PM
I try not to pay too close attention to the feeding habits or farm animals or pets. Free range poultry and swine will eat most anything, including each other. If the chicken get too close to the hog it happens very fast and permanent.

On the flip side. Whenever it was hog killing day the chickens were an absolute menace. They'd have to be penned up.

Every now and then #1 son's chickens will run a mouse out of some pile of rubbish and the chase is on. It doesn't last very long but the all get in on it.

Alan

kyratshooter
01-09-2020, 09:19 AM
Don't worry John Lee, they are eating the cat crap to get the taste of the dog crap out of their mouths.

Free range chickens are living on worms, bugs, maggots and they will scavenge dead bodies of anything they find. It's their nature, they are not born vegans.

JohnLeePettimore
01-09-2020, 09:52 AM
Don't worry John Lee, they are eating the cat crap to get the taste of the dog crap out of their mouths.

Free range chickens are living on worms, bugs, maggots and they will scavenge dead bodies of anything they find. It's their nature, they are not born vegans.

I know they eat practically anything, not raw potatoes, though. They will eat COOKED potatoes. Cat crap is great. Raw potatoes are yucky. Go figure.

Anyways, back to the subject. I'm not really worried about it, but I figured I'd mention it. Catfish eat fish crap. Shrimp are bottom feeders, too, and they're great. It all gets processed through the system. Heck, plants "eat" the manure that's put into gardens.

I guess all of us are eating $#! in one way or another..

myrtle.rankind
01-22-2020, 08:48 AM
What a beautiful thread! But I still cannot understand what people are discussing here. Anyway looks fine and ridiculous

JohnLeePettimore
01-22-2020, 09:44 AM
What a beautiful thread! But I still cannot understand what people are discussing here. Anyway looks fine and ridiculous

Sometimes minds wander, so you never know where a thread will go.

josha
06-22-2020, 06:02 AM
I have a dozen of so chickens on total free range they only use maybe a couple acres. As long as you have grasses, weeds and bugs in those woods your fine. Chickens will eat anything. Apparently they like spam too.

nell67
06-27-2020, 05:49 PM
I have a dozen of so chickens on total free range they only use maybe a couple acres. As long as you have grasses, weeds and bugs in those woods your fine. Chick ens will eat anything. Apparently they like spam too.they Love spam, Crash.

Alan R McDaniel Jr
06-27-2020, 06:03 PM
Spam flavored eggs! Yummmmmmm! My favorite.

Alan

Rick
06-27-2020, 06:15 PM
someone recommended spam sushi. I said, heck yeah. I removed the seaweed, scraped away the rice and ate the spam. It was yummy.