Just how many eggs will I get from my hens, once they start laying?
Well! I’m glad you asked. Because I happen to have an egg tally from 2005 and 2006 when I was knee-deep in my first flock. My flock adventures are described in my book, “Just A Couple of Chickens,” and because I was learning by doing, it’s pretty funny.
Not every egg that my hens laid made it to my egg collection basket. Sometimes, the hens laid on rocks or while strolling over little cliffs in the pen, so those eggs broke. Sometimes – which gradually became many times – the hens would eat their own eggs, and sometimes, I tripped on my own big plans and fell flat on the egg basket… so,
The actual egg count is probably about 10% greater than these numbers.
I also had not only chicken hens, but also duck, geese, pheasant, and chukar partridge. It was a very interesting adventure, which is why I wrote the book.
I had a flock of over 100 birds, about 80 hens of the various species.
In 2005, my hens laid enough eggs for me to blow 1,527. The following year the total was almost half that, 847 blown eggs.
The chicken hens laid half as many eggs in their second year as they did in their first. The molt was the dividing line between first and second year production.
The duck hens, who laid more eggs than the chicken hens, laid 1/4 as many eggs in their second year as they did in their first.
The geese laid half as many eggs in their second year, but the eggs were bigger. Bigger goose eggs are more valuable, and each year the geese will lay larger and larger eggs.
The pheasant hens were mad egg-eating fiends. Nuff said.
The Chukar Partridge hens laid a tremendous number of eggs but were very very fierce in protecting them. I almost lost a hand. They kept producing well in their second year but died of old age in their third or fourth years.
Imprecise as it was, it was a big success, and the eggs and feathers from my flocks, and birds raised by good-hearted backyard farmers, are still available for sale at www.TheFeatheredEgg.com.
It was an amazing time, and I miss my flock. I look forward to writing the sequel book… titled “Just a Couple More”… and I’ll keep a more scientific record this time.