I'm an engineer, so I always like data. We're having a better start than any previous year. I wish we had data back to 2008 - the one thing to keep in mind, we have all new chickens this year. The previous data shows flocks of varying ages, and in some cases, older ladies that might not have been laying at all. So this is going to be a good year, and efficient year.
We're already hatching replacements, so next year will be a banner year, too. It's in year 3 that the ladies start to slow down production. That's the year we need to start culling them before winter.
I also switched to all one breed this year. We started with production reds, then black stars, then barred rocks. We couldn't hatch them without getting mutts in return. Then we ended up with a mixed batch from a neighbor, and then hatched a lot of mutts and my flock was colorful but a mess for laying.
We've reigned that back in and are going to stick with just one breed now. We can hatch them true. It takes some of the color out of the flock (which is why I have my Speckled Sussex on the side). By the way, eggs are being laid faster than we can sell them! Come on out to purchase some eggs anytime! We have daily farm hours (until Larry gets a new full time job).
- Organic, GMO-free eggs are $6.50/doz
- Conventional eggs are $4.00/doz (limited quantities)