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Thread: Chicken questions.

  1. #1

    Default Chicken questions.

    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
    I Wonder Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here, and drink what ever comes out?"


  2. #2
    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    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.
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    Nell, MLT (ASCP)

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    Senior Member RBB's Avatar
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    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.
    Raised By Bears
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    Senior Member RBB's Avatar
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    Sorry, Double post.
    Raised By Bears
    Bear Clan

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by nell67 View Post
    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.
    I Wonder Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here, and drink what ever comes out?"

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    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    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.
    Soular powered by the son.

    Nell, MLT (ASCP)

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    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.
    Last edited by Sourdough; 01-12-2009 at 02:18 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by hopeak View Post
    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.
    I Wonder Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here, and drink what ever comes out?"

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by nell67 View Post
    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.
    I Wonder Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here, and drink what ever comes out?"

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    Not your average hick OhioHillbilly's Avatar
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    Default Chicken Questions

    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.
    [B]"I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees"[/B]

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    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    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!
    Soular powered by the son.

    Nell, MLT (ASCP)

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhioHillbilly View Post
    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........

  13. #13

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    hopeak, that was funny.
    Thanks everyone for all the tips, I really appreciate them
    I Wonder Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here, and drink what ever comes out?"

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    Member A190's Avatar
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    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

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    walk lightly on the earth wildWoman's Avatar
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    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.
    Actions speak louder than words

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    Wolverine RunsWithDeer's Avatar
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    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.

  17. #17
    walk lightly on the earth wildWoman's Avatar
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    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.
    Actions speak louder than words

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    Desert Dawg Badawg's Avatar
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    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.
    "Evil triumphs when good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke [1729-1797]

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    G'day!! Arsey's Avatar
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    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.
    It's a dog eat dog world out there

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    Senior Member nell67's Avatar
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    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.
    Soular powered by the son.

    Nell, MLT (ASCP)

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