Raising egg chickens is an excellent idea when you have space on your property for them. It’s such a good idea because you’ll have access to fresh eggs whenever you want them. You will quickly discover the difference between fresh eggs straight from the chicken compared to those sold in local stores and supermarkets.
As you know, Mark and I will be starting a new adventure soon, and I’m trying to learn everything I can about raising quail, chickens, and rabbits. We can do this if our city allows us to have them in our backyard. My HOA here will not allow them because our lot size is too small.
They require at least a 10,000 square foot lot in my city and county. Please check your city and county ordinances to see what’s allowed in your area.
Not only can you have fresh eggs to make all kinds of things, including omelets, egg salad, fried eggs, and more, but you can also begin selling eggs. There are plenty of people who’d prefer buying fresh eggs from a farm or local property over buying them at the store any day.
If this sounds like something you’d like to do, there are a few essential things to know before you get started. Taking the proper steps will ensure that you have the most success raising egg chickens on your property.
You all know our friend, Raymond Dean White, in our comment forum. He is the author of “Bugging In”. I have his book and highly recommend it. Ray was kind enough to share his experience raising chickens with me, and the three pictures in today’s post are from him. Thank you, Ray!
Egg Chickens: What You Need to Know
Choose the Right Chickens
It’s not a wise decision to choose just any species of chickens. You’ll want to do your homework before you make your selection. These are a few things to keep in mind:
Choose a Species Known to Lay More Eggs
You may already know that dozens of chicken breeds exist, some of which lay more eggs than others. When you’re raising chickens specifically for their eggs, you’ll want to choose species known for laying 100+ eggs per year because then you can yield more results.
If you have dozens of chickens laying a few eggs per day, it’s going to add up quickly, and that means you’ll have more than enough eggs to use at home and also to sell. In case you missed this post, What You Need to Know About Farm Fresh Eggs
Choose Friendly and Well-tempered Chickens
So, which chickens are best to choose for egg purposes? Rhode Island Reds are highly favored among farmers. These chickens originated in America and can lay dozens of eggs each month.
They don’t have the most challenging temperament to work with, so it’s easy to deal with them living on the land. The chickens in the images today are Ray’s Delaware Chickens.
However, they’re not the only good breed to select when you want chickens for eggs. There are several other good breeds available, including Silkie Chickens, Leghorn Chickens, Delaware Chickens, and Sussex Chickens.
The great thing about these different breeds is that they’re typically friendlier chickens that are easier to manage. Dealing with aggressive chickens is more work and can often leave people feeling frustrated.
Compare Prices and Behavior
The best way to ensure success with your chickens is to choose a breed that lays plenty of eggs and has a good temperament. Be sure to look around for different chickens for sale, compare prices and behaviors, and then make your buying decision.
It may be a challenge to make that initial investment to get these chickens on your property, but once you have them living on the land by your home, and they are properly fed and cared for, you can pretty quickly get a return on the investment.
The number of eggs you can get from these chickens throughout the years will make it all worth the work to find the best chickens to buy and keep.
Keep the Living Conditions Clean
Always keep the living conditions clean for your chickens. You don’t want to have your chickens living in cramped quarters because it makes it difficult for them to move around freely.
Chickens should be able to roam around on the land and enjoy themselves. Be sure to keep the ideal number of chickens in a particular area to give them plenty of room for roaming around and seeking food.
Take care of the bedding by adding more when it gets dirty and covered in chicken poop. Remove the chicken poop as often as possible. You don’t want your chicken living in filthy conditions because that can cause stress for them. If the chickens are living uncomfortably, it can negatively impact egg production, which is the last thing you’re going to want to experience. You also don’t want the chickens to get various diseases from less than clean conditions. Also, cleaning the pens will reduce the number of flies and other insects.
Provide Your Egg Chickens with the Essentials
Make sure you’re providing your chickens with the essentials they’ll need to grow and live healthy lives. For example, it would help if you had plenty of chicken feed available for them, along with some treats, such as fruits and veggies. Chickens enjoy eating fruits and veggies chopped into pieces. While you don’t have to do it all the time, it’s an excellent way to keep these birds well-fed and behaved!
Provide them with Plenty of Food and Water
Along with the food that you’ll provide to the chickens, make sure they always have clean water. If they don’t have enough water to drink, your chickens can end up dehydrated, which can also negatively impact egg production.
Providing care for chickens isn’t too tricky, but you need to stay on top of things. Be sure to check the coop at least twice a day to take care of the bedding, add more feed, and pour more water into the drinking stations.
Provide Clean Bedding and Toys
You can also add toys to the chicken coop and areas where the chickens will walk around. These different toys keep them busy and entertained, giving them something to do when they’re not resting on the bedding or laying eggs for you to use.
When you’re putting in the extra effort to provide comfortable living conditions for your chickens, it makes a difference. Chickens that aren’t stressed or living in poor conditions are more likely to produce a significant number of eggs, which is precisely what you want them to do when you have them on your property!
Get Plenty of Eggs with Your Egg Chickens
Bring the right chickens to your property and care for them while they continue to produce eggs. Once you have the right chickens living on your property, you can get dozens of eggs produced each month.
While you may not need that many eggs for your family, you can do a lot with them, including selling the eggs to others. It’s a great way to make an extra profit each month by selling the extra eggs produced by your chickens to others who’d like to have fresh and flavorful eggs to enjoy.
Ray’s Tips and Tricks
“The photo I sent of the Delaware chicks in the coop shows the small hinged doors. The left-hand one sits above the pull-out poop tray. In the upper right-hand corner of the photo, you can see the orange 5-gallon bucket that is the holding tank for the automatic chicken waterer I built.
A garden hose runs up to it and is reduced down to 1/4” soft copper line that leads to a swamp cooler type float valve that shuts off the flow of water when the bucket is filled. From near the bottom of the bucket a 1/2” irrigation line leads into their coop where I installed a PVC manifold that holds 3 automatic chicken watering cups.
I like those better than the nipples because the nipples can jam open and these cups have worked flawlessly for more than a year now. You can see that manifold and the 3 cups in the last photo. In the lower left-hand side are the Delaware Chicks in the Coop photo, you can see another 5-gallon bucket—my automatic chicken feeder.
I will build a larger, walk-in-style coop if I decide to expand my flock, and especially if I get a rooster so the flock becomes sustainable.
I started my chicks out on Dumor chick starter/grower feed (crumbles as opposed to pellets).
I also added electrolytes to their water (both the feed and the electrolytes were “medicated” to reduce the chance of vulnerable chicks getting diseases).
Then, when they laid their first egg I switched them to Dumor Layer feed w/16% calcium. I never used the grower/finisher feed since that’s for chickens you are raising for meat rather than eggs (I’ll get that if I get a rooster and start growing my flock).
I also feed my birds greens from the garden beds—carrot tops and lettuce are their favorites.
If you move somewhere where there’s grass in your yard, you should build a chicken tractor and your chickens will happily munch on grass and any bugs in the grass.
Oh, when they were little a couple of them did get pasty butt, (easily treated by cleaning the dried poop off their vent and adding probiotics to their water supply along with the electrolytes). We didn’t lose a single chicken.
No matter what size coop you end up building I definitely recommend putting a layer of 1/4” or 1/2” hardware cloth wire under it to prevent burrowing animals from causing you any problems. It’s also the best material to use for sidewalls in the open areas of the coop.
My little coop has a sliding door on the roost and egg-laying level that I close down at night in the winter (when they’ve gone “upstairs” for the evening).
The rest of the year it remains open for ventilation. There is also a small opening in the egg access door that can be shut in wintertime, but left open for cross ventilation.
I recommend you join the site Backyard Chickens as it is an encyclopedia of information on breeds, feed, diseases, coops, pests, and anything else you want to know about chickens. www.backyardchickens.com
One more note: I never used a heat lamp to keep my chicks warm, though many do. I used that Brinsea Ecoglow 600 brooder to keep them warm. I like that the height is adjustable so as they grow you can raise it up, and its gentle heat isn’t a fire danger like the heat lamps can be.” Here’s a link: Brinsea Products Ecoglow
Here are pictures from our friend, Matt
I love getting pictures from friends that I can share so we can all learn together the tips and tricks of raising chickens. The first one Matt uses to pull the tractor around so his chickens have fresh grass and so he can mow his lawn a lot easier.
The picture below has a side open for easy cleaning.
This is the front of the chicken coop and the rear opens for egg collecting. Can you see what I see in this picture? Oh my gosh, I saw it and got the giggles. It’s a Corn snake. Thank you for letting me use these, Matt!
When you want chickens that lay plenty of eggs, choosing the right breed is essential. However, it’s just as necessary to provide the best living conditions possible. Take good care of these birds, making sure they have plenty of bedding, some fun toys to play with, and plenty of food.
You’ll also need to give the chickens lots of water to drink throughout the day. If you’re taking good care of them, you can expect them to behave well and lay lots of eggs over the years! If you have some personal experience raising your own chickens for egg production please share your ideas, challenges overcome, and success stories, my readers will love it. May God Bless this world, Linda