Raising Barred Rock Laying Hens
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.
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
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
Barred Rock Links
- McMurray Hatchery
- Plymouth Rocks
Plymouth Rock chickens
- Omlet USA | Breed Information | Chickens | Plymouth Rock
Learn about Plymouth Rock Chickens using Omlet Chickens directory;
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.
Links for Raising Chickens
- Raising Chickens: Keeping a Backyard Flock
From chick to your first egg, keeping chickens is easy. Have your own PBS Frontier Valley chicken coop in your own back yard!
- Raising Chickens - The basics of how to raise chicks - Back Yard Chickens
Start raising chickens - Build chicken coops - Everything you need to raise chickens in your back yard coop.
- Raising Poultry
Frequently Asked Questions
- Raising Chickens and Raising Poultry | PoultryOne.com, Your Guide to Raising Chickens - Chicken Arti
An online guide to raising poultry and raising chickens. Free poultry articles, chicken links, tips, chicken photos, breed reviews, and much more about everything concerning raising poultry.
- Raising Chickens - Wikibooks, collection of open-content textbooks
This Wikibook is intended for small scale raising of chickens often referred to as "Hobby Farming". Raising chickens can be very entertaining. They also make a good environmentally friendly way of disposing of organic waste; there is very little that
- Friendly Fowl with Martha Stewart
When you think of pet birds, parrots are probably one of the first birds that come to mind. If you have a big enough yard and are zoned in the right area, then you can actually raise poultry as pets. Chickens, ducks, and geese are all domesticated so
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.
One of my hens laid her very first egg! All 10 are hens so lots of eggs on the way.