As long as you want chickens, you have to keep saying YES – yes to flock replacement. This spring – we’re choosing to take a step back for awhile to give ourselves some discernment time.
By the third year of a hen’s life, egg production drops to around 60%. Add to that the mortality that’s part of having pasture-raised chickens, and flock replacement becomes a major focus of having an egg farm. I honestly thought this part of the farm would be relatively simple. Instead it became the hardest part. I was going to explain some of those details, but let it suffice to say two words. Cold – we lost a lot of young chickens this way. Ravens – until the chickens were almost full sized, they were targets of the ravens.
We’ve found a place in Oregon where we can order pullet hens that are already four-to-six months old. This will solve the problems we’ve had when starting out with day-old chicks. The hens will already have outgrown their instinct to pile on each other when they get cold (The piling instinct is great for a dozen chicks staying warm under their mama. It’s suffocation when hundreds of chicks pile onto each other) Buying pullets will also solve the Raven restaurant problem.
It feels good to have this option of buying pullets. It also feels good to step back for a bit now as our flock ages and egg production begins its natural decrease. We’ll keep you posted as we live our way forward.
In the meantime, we’re excited this spring that Many Spokes Farm will be the home for our daughters veggie farm production. Look for her at Farmer’s Markets this summer!
We have so much gratitude for providing Happy Hens eggs to Chelan Valley these past three years. We are excited to see how this journey moves next. THANK YOU for all your support!!!
Lars and Anne