We keep a mix of 1 to 3 year-old red sex-linked (Rhode Island Red : Rhode Island White cross), We collect large brown eggs from most of our birds, daily. We used to allow our birds out into the yard during the day, but we have a lot of predators (foxes, coyotes and a mink!!) around this year. We have also curtailed using our portable coop for the time being. We used to move the portable coop through our pastures where hens could often be seen preening the cattle that were laying down. The hens forage for bugs, seeds and grain to supplement their feed.
Generally, the hens would stay within a couple hundred feet of their coop; dusting, perching and foraging. They would wander into a nearby slough and they explored brush piles. The hens returned to their coops regularly during the day. It was fun to watch them pull worms from the ground, and drink and play in the puddles after a rain. We have not lost a bird to a predator yet, but we don't want to provide a fox or coyote with an easy meal. Our long-term plans for using a pasture coop are up in the air.
The hens, as a group, average about 2 eggs every 3 days. There are undoubtedly some freeloaders in the flock – who keep the average productivity down.
Farm-fresh barnyard eggs are available daily from the farm ($3.00/doz).
Call, text or email Laurie (651-343-0352, firstname.lastname@example.org)
for more nformation and to order eggs.