We’ve been “chicken farmers” for about 10 months now; getting our girls last May at one day old. We have six beautiful hens – Buttercup (Golden Sex-Link), Flame (Black Sex-Link), Harriett (Australorp), Helen (Rhode Island Red), Henrietta aka Henny (Barred Rock) and Penelope aka Penny (Barred Rock).
I chose these breeds specifically for brown eggs, their cold-hardiness and egg production during colder months. So far they have all exceeded my expectations and survived the second snowiest winter in decades!
Our first eggs arrived in early October and before winter set in we were getting 5-6 eggs per day. During the winter months we averaged between 3-4 eggs per day. Now that spring and longer days are approaching, we are back to about 5 per day.
The girls came through the snow and bitter cold very well. We insulated the coop and covered it with a tarp and added a heat lamp for warmth. We also added “disco” rope lights to help simulate daylight. Not sure how effective it was, but I did catch the girls doing the hustle on one snowy night.
If you use a heat lamp, do choose an infrared light. It’s not bright — and that’s important as we found out when the girls were crowing at 3 am!
Yes, they do “crow” or cackle when they lay…and it can be quite loud, especially at 3 am.
And finally, the most asked question I get: Don’t you need a rooster to get eggs? No, you only need a rooster if you want baby chicks. Eggs happen regardless!