Reducing the chicken flock

Last summer, before I got pregnant, I was going to build a fence by our house and get an area ready for a roadside egg selling station. We had bought chicks to add to our flock in preparation for this. Needless to say, I never got around to that. That left us with way too many hens laying way too many eggs everyday.

Hens milling about

We sold two Welsummer hens and got rid of one worthless Cochin hen. That leaves our laying flock at eleven hens. I’m considering whether or not to sell two more hens as the fence building/egg selling station probably wont happen until next year or later. Eleven hens are still producing more eggs then we need or can sell.

Welsummer in the forefront

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17 Responses to Reducing the chicken flock

  1. Darleen says:

    Have you had good luck with the electro-netting fencing? I think that’s what I see in the background?

    • lee says:

      We’ve been using electronet for 4 years and it’s super convenient. We have 200′ of it in almost continuous use. I’ll admit we do run a certain risk though, because we almost never have it electrified. In fact, I don’t think our current crop of chickens has ever seen it electrified. It’s mostly a physical barrier for them, and they rarely challenge it.

      We did lose one chicken earlier this year when she flew over the net and then became hysterical trying to get back through it (there were feathers everywhere). We also almost lost a goose to it. (She was limp when I found her.) Geese like to stick their heads through things, and long necks + loose netting is a definite choking hazard.

      • Darleen says:

        Well maybe I’m just going to have to go for it and give it a try! What brand did you purchase? The price tag is always a little intimidating!

        Hey I love following and reading your blog……so I nominated you for the Liebster Award! Keep up the good work and check out your nomination here: http://theoregondairyfarmersdaughter.blogspot.com/2013/04/liebster-blog-award.html

        • lee says:

          Both of our nettings are from Premier 1. Their PoultryNet is cheaper, but I helped someone move a PoultryNet fence once and I wasn’t impressed by how flexible the posts were. For our applications (moved a few times a year, possibly containing sheep in the future), the PermaNet with sturdier posts seemed ideal. We’ve been very happy with it. We have the non-“Plus” version, 100′ rolls, one with single spikes and one with double spikes. The double spike is easier to stick in the ground, especially in the summer.

          Moving PermaNet is definitely a two person job, and to better guard against animal losses you have to follow their advice to keep the fence line closely mowed and the fence hot. We don’t do this, but we’ve lucked out so far. Others are less lucky.

          Thanks for the nomination. 🙂

  2. Rae says:

    If it makes you feel better, we’ve downsized our flock from around 30 to 17, but then added an additional 11 new pullets (one of the most expensive of which I think is a rooster… $&@%!!!). Too many chickens!!!!! Hubby’s solution? “We can just make the coop bigger!” 🙂

    We’ve been boiling the extra eggs, peeling them, chopping them up, and feeding them to the dogs, waterfowl, and back to the chickens (ha!). Yes, our geese swear at them first. I told hubby about your description of the geese that berate their food, and he laughed his butt off. Said it was a PERFECT description.

    You aren’t in the market for a black copper maran rooster, are you? Feathered feet and all… 🙂

    Oh, and since I don’t think I commented before, HUGE CONGRATS on the kiddo!! Yay!

    • lee says:

      Wow, 30 laying hens is a huge flock. I don’t envy your feed bill!

      We haven’t introduced any new foods to the geese lately. I miss seeing their reaction. And no, we don’t need another rooster. I hope our current one lives for many years, because I’d rather put off another round of rooster interviews.

      Thanks! She’s pretty sweet. 🙂

  3. Hi there! I haven’t been reading long enough to know if you have off-farm jobs. If so, you may want to take some to work with you. We sell lots of our extras to co-workers, it’s a pretty easy way to get rid of the ones you can’t eat. Good luck!

    • lee says:

      That’s a good idea. Yes, we definitely have an off-farm income to support everything (the land is mostly a hobby at this point), but unfortunately my coworkers are about 1000 miles away across the internet. We do have some big social groups we participate in locally, so we should make more of an effort to mention that we sell eggs.

  4. Snowbrush says:

    ” Eleven hens are still producing more eggs then we need or can sell.”

    What?! I understood you to say that you gave up selling eggs.

  5. We went from 9 to 3 layers and it seems like a perfect number for 2-3 people..2-3 eggs a day which is easy to keep up with. I do need to get rid of my rooster..he is crowing all day long and it is driving me mad..the 1 is as bad as 5 were!

    • lee says:

      Yeah, if you don’t plan to sell your eggs and you don’t have anybody to give them to, 3 layers is probably about perfect. I’m surprised your rooster is so loud without any competition. Ours crows the most at 4am and sunrise, but we barely hear him since the coop is so far away.

  6. James Baiardi says:

    Would It be possible to email you some questions about pigs?
    We are raising are first two ,started in early June and starting to figure stuff out.
    Thanks
    Jim Baiardi

    • lee says:

      You are welcome to post any questions here and I’ll try to answer if I can. We only raised pigs once, so we are by no means experts, but I might be able to direct you toward a decent reference if I don’t know the answer.

  7. Christina & Nick Mclamb says:

    My husband and I are currently in arizona and looking to move to the portland area. And we want to build a homestead there similar to what you habe been doing and we were wondering of there was a possibility of us being able to see your farm and visit. We would love to know more before we move there and start trying to set ours up. Thank you.

    • lee says:

      We also made the move from Arizona to Oregon, although the Portland area will be quite different than down here. Our website might be FarmFolly, but to be honest we are more of a “garden farm” than a “farm farm”. We don’t sell any products off the land, and this year we skipped the garden completely so we could focus more on our newborn. I appreciate the interest, but you’d be better off looking at some real small farms up in the Portland area. (There are lots of them.)

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