Small Scale Hen Keeping – Reader Success

Free Ranging and Training Chickens...

Hi Duncan and Wendy,

Just thought that you’d be interested in my 4 Isa Brown Hens. Have had them since the beginning of February 09 and so far they’ve had 194 eggs. They normally lay one egg per day each except when the ‘supervisor’ and her cousin Peanut terrorized one of them and she wouldn’t eat or lay for about 5 days.

I’m keeping running costs on an Excel programme and so far the total cost, which included the hen costs and coop material and fencing cost $258 so that each egg costs $1.34 as of today. Have given away 50 or 26% of the eggs as gifts and have sold 54 to two neighbors. One gives me a decent bottle of white each month for 6 eggs on a Friday and the other gives me $4.0 per dozen, (which is a steal for her) – but that’s OK – what goes around comes around.

The eggs are delicious and getting bigger all the time. The shell is brown and the yolks are a deep yellow.

I could sell as many as I produce and I have to turn folk down. If I wanted I could easily double up the coop by extending the mezzanine or sleeping floor and then I would actually make money!!! Maybe with superannuation the way it is at the moment I should!

I feed them laying pellets, 3 cups a day and all the scraps. They love fruit but not veggies.

Their sleeping deck is covered in straw and each day I pick it up the chicken poo, put new straw down where needed, and fill a new bucket of water which they love.

Each night they come in from the garden run without any prompting and go into the little loft.  When dark I then close the run to keep cats away and that is them in nice and secure for the night.

So there you are. They have scratched my side garden, which is now theirs to bits but c’est la vie.

Thought you would be interested. I love reading your weekly ‘secrets’ and have picked up a lot from them.

If anyone is interested in very small hen keeping, like me, I’ll be happy to answer any questions.

Best Regards,

Gordon Freeman

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