Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
Chapter 4: Chicken Breeds for Egg Production
How to Raise Chickens for Egg Production:
It is important to know that chickens do not need a rooster for laying eggs. They will simply
not be fertilized. This is useful to know if city ordnances do not allow roosters. Before you
start raising a backyard flock for egg production, it is wise to choose the breeds that are
known for their egg laying prowess. You should also consider if you will be using your flock
to lay eggs for commercial purposes.
The chickens will need a warm, dry and well-ventilated coop. You should make this secure
as there are a number of predators who love to eat chickens. Free range birds are better egg
layers as they will lead a more natural life and be less inclined to fight and peck at each oth-
er. Therefore it is good to attach a run to the coop for your chickens. This should be covered
and be well-secured against predators.
The usual cleaning chores apply as the chickens should be kept clean to stay healthy. They
will need clean water and food on a daily basis. If you want to breed egg layers you will
find that they are not broody and you will have to learn how to use an incubator. However
there are breeds that are brooders and they will happily hatch out eggs the natural way. If
you choose a broody breed make sure it is a dual purpose bird who will also supply you
with eggs. Egg laying chickens will need egg laying feed at 4 months, or you can make your
own. Free range birds are best for egg layers as they will be less irritable and will be able to
forage. This adds to the nutrition of the egg and happy hens will lay better.
When Should I Start Collecting Eggs?
Hens start to lay between 4 to 6 months. At first the eggs will be small and elongated. The
eggs will get larger as they become mature. For commercial purposes it is wise to sell the
eggs when they get to normal size but the first eggs can be consumed at home.
Different Size and Weight of Chicken Eggs
Jumbo: More than 2.5 oz.
Extra-large: More 2.25 oz. and less than 2.5 oz.
Large: More than 2 oz. but less than 2.25 oz.
Medium: More than 1.75 oz.
Small: More than 1.5 oz.
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