By this time in our work to start a farm, I planned to have over 30 laying hens. In April, we had 11 layers and 6 chicks that would start laying around July. The owners of a local pub were going to give us 9 more that they didn’t have time for. The ex husband’s brother had 3 he didn’t want. And we had 6 more chicks we bought in May.
We are currently getting one egg per day…and it’s from a meat chicken.
Here’s what happened:
- Coyotes killed and ate our 11 layers and 6 almost-layers. From 17 to 0.
- The owners of the pub got tired of waiting for us to get the chickens because we were so busy with wedding plans. From 9 to 0.
- The ex husband’s brother also got tired of waiting (and was a pill about finding a box). From 3 to 0.
- Of the 6 layer chicks we bought in May, 2 turned out to be roosters. From 6 to 4.
So I went from 35 layers by this fall to 4. I was planning to use the monthly egg money from the 35 layers to pay off a loan. That was where the number of layers come from in the first place! I looked at the monthly payment due, figured out how many dozen eggs we’d need to sell to generate that much money, then how many layers we’d need to lay that many eggs.
And now we have 4…with a beautiful chicken coop built for 33. Sigh.
One thing I’ve learned about how to start a farm: Don’t count on anything!!