Why do I keep hybrid laying hens?
We have kept a lot of different breeds over the past few years. When I started out I wanted the old, rarer breeds. Then I’d end up taking in other peoples hens when they no longer wanted them. Then the fox would get half of the them. Then I’d go to an auction and come back with a spur of the moment purchase.
Over time, this constant collecting of random birds introduced diseases like scaly leg, worms & Mareks disease into my flock.
Then, I toughened up. I don’t earn a lot of money, and my birds need to cover their costs. A rare breed hen may lay me a couple of eggs a week (depending on her age and the time of the year) which clearly isn’t going to make much of a dent in the feed bill.
So now, I tend to stick to hybrid laying hens. They are raised for farmers, they pop out an egg a day for around 18 months, at which point I rehome them and get a new batch.
I still don’t make much of a profit on their eggs, but my family and I get to eat the best eggs in the world and I (mostly!) love being responsible for them.
Are you thinking of getting chickens?
Our recent blog post Chicken Keeping 101 will help you take the plunge, it covers the basics of keeping hens, from housing to feeding, to trying to understand the pecking order. Do let us know how you get on!