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Chicken stocktake

If you are losing track of the number of chickens that we currently have running around here at Eight Acres, don't worry, I occasionally have to count them again myself!  So before we start hatching more this spring, I'll give you a quick stocktake.

The White Leghorns:
In one large chicken tractor we have Boris the White Leghorn Rooster, with 3 hens from last year's hatch and 3 hens that we bought.  They are laying 1-3 eggs/day, the ones we bought are probably not quite laying yet.


The Rhode Island Reds:
In another tractor we have Wilbur the Rhode Island Red Rooster from last year, with 5 of last year's hens (and some older) and our little "Beavis Brown" cross that we hatched last spring.


The pullets:
In another tractor we have 5 Rhode Is Red and 1 White Leghorn pullet from the most recent hatch (one other RIR died of unknown causes a few weeks ago, the rest seem to be fine).  Only the eldest one is laying one eggs every couple of days, its just a matter of time though..... I already have enough excess eggs for us to eat 4 a day, and sell a few cartons a week to friends to cover the chicken feed costs.

The little roosters:
We also have a tractor full of crazy little roosters - 6 RIR and 2 White Leghorns (and its very tempting to keep one of these WLs if Boris doesn't start to grow a tail!).  They are still at an age where they can come out of the tractor without fighting each other to the death, very cute to have them running around the yard and chasing me for food :)  I think a few are going to find homes, as they are lovely roosters, and the rest will end up in the freezer.


The other roosters:
We have already killed 5 of the roosters that we hatched last spring, they are in the freezer.  See how to kill and butcher them here.  

How are your chickens laying this spring?  How many do you have?  Will you be hatching more?


By the way, my chicken eBook is now available if you want to know more about backyard chickens and using chicken tractors.  More information over at the chicken tractor ebook blog.  Or you can get it directly from my shop on Etsy (.pdf format), or Amazon Kindle or just send me an email eight.acres.liz {at} gmail.com.




What's the eBook about?
Chickens in a confined coop can end up living in an unpleasant dust-bowl, but allowing chickens to free-range can result in chickens getting into gardens and expose them to predators.

 A movable cage or “chicken tractor” is the best of both options – the chickens are safe, have access to clean grass, fresh air and bugs. Feed costs are reduced, chickens are happier, and egg production increases. 

 But how do you build a chicken tractor? What aspects should be considered in designing and using a chicken tractor effectively? In this eBook I aim to explain how to make a chicken tractor work for you in your environment to meet your goals for keeping chickens. 

I also list what I have learnt over 10 years of keeping chickens in tractors of various designs and sizes, from hatching chicks, through to butchering roosters.


Reviews of the Design and Use a Chicken Tractor


Comments

  1. We have too many still, more than 30. A few roosters which need to go but I'm thinking some hens might make the pot too. Too many eggs though we do sell some but I have a fridge full of ones that don't make the grade. Only so many eggs we can eat...

    Barb.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We have 18. 12 are 1 1/2 years old. The rest are 3 to 8 years old. I told my son he could keep the older ones until they died, but the younger ones I will cull when they're 2-3 and start with another batch. I will be buying the chicks because we don't have a rooster right now. The last one we had was MEAN! I haven't been getting as many eggs because we've had some pretty hot weather and now we're heading into autumn.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We have give girls and a rooster. Four of the girls were from or original flock and are about four years now. One of them isn't laying currently but the rest are. To many eggs for us but the neighbour happily receives out excess. The fifth is a langshan that is on the bottom of the pecking order. I feel sorry for it at times. Animals can be quite cruel!
    The rooster hadn't been aggressive so far, he appears to be contemplating where he stands a chance :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Boris looks so funny without a tail, almost a bit lopsided. How old is he? Has he ever had a tail?

    ReplyDelete
  5. good to hear from some other chicken collectors!

    Fiona, Boris is less than a year old, and was one of 4 chickens that we bought from a very overcrowded pen. We drove an hour to pick up our White Leghorns and were very disappointed in the conditions they were kept in. I bought them out of pity more than anything, they had hardly any feather, at around 2 months old, they were starting to get adult feathers, but weren't getting enough green veg/minerals, so were half-bald. Boris and one of the hens haven't grown tails yet and their skin is all raw, we are hoping the tails will grow after they moult the first time. Lesson learnt - don't by chickens that aren't in good condition, no more rescue chickens!

    ReplyDelete

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