They arrived this morning. 300+ Gold Star Layers.
Wow, hope you have a nice warm place to house them. That's a lot of babes. What are Gold Star? For meat, eggs, or??
I think you've told us before, but at what age do Gold Stars start to lay?
I think they are like my golden comets that I had and they start early,I want to say four or five months
About right. We are looking at late June, about the time Farmers Market gets going good. I am selling about 180 dozen a month this winter. Doing a CSA. Extras go to the local food shelf.
Wow, that's amazing!!! Do you buy your food in bulk? I feel like my Layena for 7 chickens is so expensive, that I can't imagine for 300. I'm curious how/where you buy the feed for a chicken farm rather than a hobbyist.
A co-op feed mill. Chick starter is $13.50 for 50 lbs. Layer feed is around 19¢ a pound.
Guess I'm doing better than I thought. Starter here is $10.09 for 50#s, as is 20% Layer.
Everything here is around $13.00 for a 50 pound bag, starter or layer. With the 7 chickens I go through one 50 pound bag about every 10 days, I think. It seems expensive.
Those are some greedy chickens! Of course mine free range, but mine eat about 1/3 that much.
The 200+ hens eat about a bag a day. Produce $36 a day in eggs, so not bad.
Yeah, I haven't been able to let mine free range as much......I know that affects food intake. We have a hungry owl around here. 2 fatalities in the fall. I do wish they would eat less. I'm going to try an make a larger fenced area for them this summer that has a wire "roof" so they can go out more but stay safe from the owl and/or hawks around here. Switching to pelleted food from crumble helped some, with less waste. They just seem to eat a lot. wondering if their age affects food intake? Prime egg laying age.....almost 1 year old, so I wonder if they also eat more at this age? Kind of like teenagers???
It would make sense that high production be accompanied by high feed intake.
I used to lose an occasional hen to owls. I have always had to let mine out early in the morning when owls are still a threat, so I started throwing some corn chops into the coop area when I opened the doors hoping they will stay under cover until the owls have quit for the day. So far it seems to be working.
I found that I seemed to have more losses when I let them out early. Now they have to wait until _I_ think they're safe(er). I also ran a fence between the main coops and the "woods". It won't stop anything determined, but does prevent what I think of as a running attack. Usually dogs that just come in and start killing. Of course, my most vulnerable chickens insist on foraging in the cow field, and into said woods. I'm considering a donkey....
We have a chicken group here, and someone said that he runs string across his chicken "run" and it prevents the hawks from diving down and getting his chickens. I know this wouldn't work everywhere, like when you let them out. But in runs it could work.
I myself can't let my chickens out, due to my own dogs. I have two dogs, and one loves the chickens. She sits there and stares at them, or runs around the coops. The other one is purely interested in the wild life, like rodents, squirrels.... he is never at the coops. Funny hun?
Very nice, CountryGardens. I'm assuming they are all future pullets?
They should be laying eggs by July 1. Just in time for the busy Farmers Market season. They will be added to our flock of 200 hens that are in production now.