If you are considering keeping backyard chickens to provide fresh eggs for your family, it’s important to know how many hens you’ll need. If you don’t have a source for excess eggs you’ll want to make sure you don’t have too many hens. Maintaining a flock also means an extra chore, the more birds you have the more work there is, so it’s best to start sensibly.
The rule of thumb is two standard size hens per family member. This will keep your refrigerator stocked with an ample supply of eggs on a weekly basis.
Although starting with a small flock, make sure you buy or build a coop that will give you the opportunity to add more birds later. More space is always better than not enough. Expanding coops size can be an expensive afterthought.
It depends whether or not they are LUCKY. Hens on a mass production egg farm can expect an unpleasant one or two year lifespan before they are brutally slaughtered. Not a rosy picture, but wait, it’s even worse if a chicken hatches as a rooster. He will often be granted only five or six months before his life also comes to a screeching halt. One may be somewhat luckier than the other… but quite frankly I’m not sure which one.
Backyard chickens can live eight to ten years in an ideal situation. Meaning, quality grub, green fixin’s, fresh water, shelter, and space to exercise their instinctual behaviors. Of course there are always chickens with that special gusto for life who continue scratching in the dirt far beyond the norm.
The older a hen gets the less eggs she lays. Her production cycle may even cease altogether. But this is just a part of their change of life, same as ours. Chickens grow old, but but let’s not overlook their other valuable ageless contributions. They provide an endless amount of fertilizer for your garden, eat ticks, flies, mosquitoes, and the creepy crawlers that destroy the foliage in your yard. Chickens are hard workin’ bug eating machines that are quite happy to earn their keep… at every stage of their life.
This is a controversial question indeed. Many chicken keepers are worried about their birds consuming any kind of chemical, certainly a valid concern. But, I think everyone should be equally concerned about the health of their birds.
Like anything else, education is the key to better understanding. Below is the information I found, if other chicken keepers have something to add, please feel welcome to share any advice in the comment box below. 🙂
After researching whether or not I should worm my own flock I stumbled across this article on Worming Chickens, it discusses a product called Flubenvet. I know about this wormer, but considering Flubenvet isn’t available in the United States it’s not much good to me.
Nevertheless, I researched it again and it led me HERE with more information on how to use Flubenvet and where to purchase it online. The Backyard Chicken forum was also helpful with another online source.
Note: You do not need to withdraw eggs for consumption when Flubenvet is given at the correct dose and it is simple to administer in food.