If you’ve seen our previous post, you know our hens have started laying finally. It took just over 5 months to get them to start but our hens came of age right in the middle of winter. Which in itself isn’t ideal. Chickens like sunlight and when the days are shorter they tend to go into a molt phase. I do intend to add lighting in the future but I haven’t done so yet.
About January 28th would have been 5 months and they started laying February 8th. Now that we have laying chickens I can breath a little easier. Even though I expected it to take longer, there is still a little bit of that nervous doubt in the back of your mind being a beginner to this stuff that I’ve messed something up. Regardless we are now at about 8 eggs per day, and soon to be more I’m sure.
Next on the agenda is to finish the Goat Shed and paddocks. And get started on the aquaponics greenhouse. But I also need to look into getting an incubator and building my own little brooder. I also have plans for a geodesic dome for running some meat tractors.
Once I get eggs in full production and I can incubate and hatch our own chickens which I will try to grow every year. At least 12 new hens need to be added to the coop every year to create a rotating stock of hens that are producing eggs. Additionally, I’m wanting to raise about 100 chickens a year in moveable meat tractors that will be purely for butchering and freezing for fresh homegrown food.
The hens have been laying eggs all over the floor of the coop the last couple of days. So we sprung into action to get laying boxes for them. We always seem to be on the bubble for everything we are doing. Some might say we are trying to do too much too fast, but hey it keeps us moving.
These laying boxes I built 6 for one wall in the “wing” of the coop. Each is about 16 inches wide by 15 inches tall, but only has a 12 inch by 12 inch opening. We built basically just a rough book shelf type structure and then skinned the front with OSB and used a jig saw to cut out the openings.
As soon as we installed them the hens were running over to investigate. They seemed to enjoy them. Hopefully they start using them for laying.
Click any of the pictures for larger versions.