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Raising Barred Rock Laying Hens

Updated on February 9, 2017

I Love Fresh Eggs

I'm raising Barred Rock hens this year to have fresh eggs once they are grown. I've raised chickens before, mostly bantams as pets and a few broilers for meat.

Egg prices have increased by around 40% in the last year, raising your own laying hens can save a lot of money. Your eggs will also be fresher and healthier.

Update

My parents are still keeping chickens, I have left the nest.

Watching my Chicks Grow

May 9, 2008 Six day-old chicks arrived.

The little yellow ones are pheasants, the big dark ones are chickens.

May 25, 2008 Chicks are now 18 days old, growing rapidly, and no longer need the heat lamp during the day (though they still need it at night). They've just about tripled in size.

Two and a half weeks old.

6 Weeks Old

6 Weeks Old
6 Weeks Old

Things Can Get Interesting

Chickens like all animals that spend most of their time outdoors can get themselves into trouble. Usually it's mild stuff, escaping their enclosure, eating stuff they shouldn't, cuts and scrapes, etc. but sometimes things can get serious. This happened to one of my chickens.

It's been a very rainy end of July and beginning of August. Generally wet and dreary. One of my chickens somehow got herself thoroughly stuck in mud, drenched with water, and nearly died. If my dad hadn't found her when he did I'm sure she would have died. He brought her inside, I washed her up, used a hair dryer to dry and warm her and put her in the chick pen indoors.

Lucky is now completely a pet chicken, very friendly and wants nothing to do with the other chickens. Actually when I tried to reintroduce her to the chicken pen they attacked her. I'm going to slowly try to reintroduce her by setting her pen down next to the large pen for a few hours a day and hope they get used to each other again. If not, when the new chicken pen is built she'll be put in a separate section that was being planned for either some bantams or ducks. She's not aggressive so I don't think she'll pick on smaller birds (not that bantams will usually put up with being picked on).

Update - September 27: Nothing is ever predictable when it comes to animals. When I order my chicks I was told that 9/10 chicks are female which isn't a bad ratio. However probability is just probability, individual result vary. I have 4 roosters! That only leaves 2 hens to lay eggs for me and 3 of the roosters are destined to be dinner because I can only keep one.

CorrectionI have 5 roosters, Lucky turns out to be a rooster as well. I'm not going to be getting many eggs. Next year I'm buying pullets (young grown hens) rather than chicks, this has been quite frustrating.

Me and Lucky

Me and Lucky
Me and Lucky

Why Raise Chickens?

Chickens are very easy to raise, they don't require a lot of maintenance. With food prices going up raising a small flock for eggs, meat, or both can save you a lot of money.

When I raised chickens for meat last year it only cost about $0.26 a pound to raise 6 chickens for 10 weeks. I estimate that once my hens start laying it will cost less than a penny per egg.

If you don't live in a rural area, please check with local ordinances on raising poultry. Some cities completely bar residents from raising chickens, others require you to only raise hens because roosters are very loud.

This Years Chicks - Those don't look like Barred Rocks

And they aren't. This year I got 10 hybrid chicks because that's what was available and again I've been guaranteed they are hens. We'll wait and see.

These are strictly laying hens so they're smaller than Barred Rocks because they aren't also used meat. Unlike last years roosters any from this batch will really only be good for soup.

Big News!

One of my hens laid her very first egg! All 10 are hens so lots of eggs on the way.

Chicken Scratch - Leave your comments.

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    • BackyardChickenK profile image

      BackyardChickenK 

      5 years ago

      Nice lens! Good job raising your chicks :)

    • profile image

      renejune9 

      6 years ago

      @Anthony Altorenna: thats because you are a chicken

    • rallo-smith profile image

      rallo-smith 

      6 years ago

      I only have 2 chickens and one is a barred rock. Great lens.

    • desa999 lm profile image

      desa999 lm 

      6 years ago

      Great lens, nicely laid out with some really good tips.

    • microfarmproject profile image

      microfarmproject 

      6 years ago

      We have 20 chickens. Several of them are Barred Rocks and they are so friendly. Thanks!

    • profile image

      yutray 

      6 years ago

      Wow..nice, I always have trouble with the chicks, this is will be useful for me, thanks :)

    • imlifestyle profile image

      imlifestyle 

      6 years ago

      I remember having chick when I was little. Thanks for the lens..

    • jeremecausing profile image

      Jereme Causing 

      6 years ago from Philippines

      very nice lens :)

    • profile image

      River_Rose 

      6 years ago

      Nice lens! Wish I still raised hens......

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 

      6 years ago from Connecticut

      Backyard chickens are such fun! We have a barred rock hen in our small flock (her name is Rocky, of course!) and she is such a sweetheart. Well done!

    • AceofHearts profile image

      AceofHearts 

      6 years ago

      I'm sorry you ended up with all roosters but it sure is an adorable story!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      I don't like eating animals anymore but I believe those chickens are in pretty good hands with you. Be nice if you intend to kill them, they serve you good. That should be honored :-)

    • BlueTrane profile image

      BlueTrane 

      6 years ago

      My next home will allow me to raise chickens! I'm so tired of the crappy eggs I find in the grocery store.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 

      6 years ago from Virginia

      I hear you, I can't wait to go home to the country side of Mississippi and get on with having some layers and other essentials of life that don't have a price tag for all the enjoyment they bring. Great lense!

    • profile image

      alpacafarm 

      6 years ago

      Hello. Love the lens. I raise bantam chickens mostly silkies and old english. Lots of fun!

    • alexandradouglas profile image

      Alexandra Douglas 

      6 years ago from Florida

      Beautiful Birds!

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 

      7 years ago from Sweden

      I too had my own chickens. I made a lens about the egg..hehe - blessings for this lens!

    • one flywitme profile image

      one flywitme 

      7 years ago

      Great lens chickens are fun,fun,fun

    • profile image

      pmccraken 

      7 years ago

      I really enjoyed your lens. The pics are great. I haven't tried raising Plymouth Rocks yet. With their great egg production you will have lots of eggs.

    • profile image

      r2fish 

      7 years ago

      Love this information and it certainly has given me new insight into the world of barred rock hen and especially your Lucky.

    • Jhangora LM profile image

      Jhangora LM 

      7 years ago

      Lovely Lens, I like Chickens a lot - specially Tandoori ones :)

    • sagebrushmama profile image

      sagebrushmama 

      7 years ago

      Great Lens! I have an assortment, no barred rock. My marans are really neat, though, as their eggs are a very dark brown!

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 

      7 years ago from US

      Happy April Fool's Day. No pranks; just blessings ;)

    • MamaBelle profile image

      Francis Luxford 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great information. Very cool watching their progress.

    • profile image

      modernstead 

      7 years ago

      Very interesting and informative. I'm thinking about getting some chickens and I'm a little bit worried about getting a rooster. Now I'm really worried about it. Ha!

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L B 

      7 years ago from Covington, LA

      I know what you went through with the roosters... We were given 6 chicks (hens with only 10% chance for roosters). Two of them were roosters. I think they need new chick checkers. :)

    • EmmaCooper LM profile image

      EmmaCooper LM 

      8 years ago

      We love our chickens, we wouldn't be without them!

    • Diana888 profile image

      Diana J. Limjoco 

      8 years ago from Puerto Princesa, Palawan

      I used to raise barred rock chickens also. Love them! Great to have fresh eggs too. Big difference in flavor too if you let them free range!

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 

      8 years ago

      So disappointing to find you have more roosters than hens. It happened to me too. I think we ended up with 3 of each. But it's fun raising them and having lovely fresh eggs.

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 

      8 years ago from Guatemala

      I can't wait to start raising chickens for eggs. When I was little we had a lot and it was my job to look after them, but trying to convince my husband that it's a good idea is a bit harder than expected! :)

    • Airinka profile image

      Airinka 

      8 years ago

      :))))) funny lens!

    • profile image

      hannzach 

      8 years ago

      Great lens and lovely pics. I have a few barred rocks amongst my other hens. I know what you mean about getting more roosters than hens. I was successful last year at hatching some of my own chicks from some broody hens, but I still ended up with several roosters.

    • profile image

      backyardchickencoops 

      9 years ago

      Your right raising chickens can save you a lot of money, but I think I do it more for fun. I have been raising chickens since I was a little boy.

      One of the best part's is seeing them grow, raising chickens isn't something that everyone can do. I also built my own Chicken Coop!

    • profile image

      mitchking 

      9 years ago

      I love having fresh eggs and have considered many times adding chickens to my ranch.

    • ss834 lm profile image

      ss834 lm 

      9 years ago

      We just added four barred rock pullets to our flock. They are beautiful chickens. Our next step is to get them a rooster!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      9 years ago

      This lens makes me want to start up a coop again. 5*

      If you get a chance check out my Instant Stress Management lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      9 years ago

      Hey Noadi great lens and great Chickens! I have a similar lens for raising chicken http://www.squidoo.com/chickencoopdesign I'd love your opinion on it! In the meantime 5 stars from me :)

    • profile image

      CleanerLife 

      9 years ago

      When I was a kid we had chickens, it was one of the best experiences in my life, since it was my responsibility to take care of them. Sadly, we never had chickens after we moved when I was about 13.

    • profile image

      P9ner 

      9 years ago

      I used to have chickens, they are very cool animals and there is nothing like having your own supply of fresh eggs.

    • GreenChickens profile image

      GreenChickens 

      9 years ago

      Pretty chickens! We have two barred rocks ourselves, as well as a few other breeds.

    • profile image

      seedplanter 

      10 years ago

      What a fun lens! I think you should knit Lucky a Squidoo scarf for winter.

      I wonder if he and Tom would become fast friends?

    • Tiddledeewinks LM profile image

      Tiddledeewinks LM 

      10 years ago

      From a fellow Mainer with chickens! Great lens!

    • PatriotAlpacas profile image

      PatriotAlpacas 

      10 years ago

      very nice, from a fellow backyard chicken owner. Our girls should start laying in about 3 weeks. Can't WAIT! We have EEs and black sex links. Oh yeah, and Charlie, our blue laced red Wyandotte roo. We could end up with some very interesting chicks down the road!

    • profile image

      beachbum_gabby 

      10 years ago

      We have chickens in our farm. For me, chicken eggs are better than duck eggs. Well done lens!

    • profile image

      enslavedbyfaeries 

      10 years ago

      You hens are beautiful! I would love to raise chickens and might even consider eating eggs again if I knew they did not come from factory confined hens.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 

      10 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      Great idea! Unfortunately, I can imagine my cats not wanting lots of involvement in this. My chickens would be so "nervous" they would never lay!

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