Give a farmer a chicken plucker and an incubator and watch him go. Last year Alison and the girls gave me an industrial chicken plucker for Father’s Day. A great way to motivate me to ramp up our heritage chicken breeding. Add in a 72 egg incubator and watch out. Over the last year we have discovered that people are really keen to buy laying chickens. Especially pretty ones. I know pretty is a hard to define term but it basically translates to anything but one of those light brown egg laying accountant hens that lay well but aren’t much to look at.
It takes allot longer for heritage breeds to start laying compared to the hybrids. Below is a bit of information I discovered from the McMurray Hatcher (the world’s rare breed poultry headquarters) http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/
Most of the egg laying hybrids start laying at 4 to 5 months of age. Hybrid egg layers are bred by crossing two different lines or breeds. They are known for their excellent productivity and high feed conversion ratio.
Non-Hybrids (Heritage Breeds)
Most non-hybrids start laying at 5 to 7 months of age. These include New Hampshire Reds, Black Australorps, Buff Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, Wyandottes, and many of our other breeds.
If you are interested in having a go at heritage chickens we have plenty available. Over 150 unsexed heritage cross bred chooks available. We are very low on point of lay hens but have bred up for a big supply in early 2013. Visit our farm stall for prices and other livestock/produce from Cromwell Farms.