These girls in the picture above are 'Black Stars' and I hope will be producing in late January. The flock that is front of them and should be already started producing are 'Red Stars'. 'Should' being the operative word here, not one single egg yet. Our usual breed for our replacement flocks are locally produced Production Red which is a cross between Rhode Island Red and White Rock. I wanted to change because of identifying the flocks of different age. In the past we have used colored spring leg bands. These, on rare occasions have caused a chickens leg to swell. We catch the bird and cut away the ring.
So I tried to solve one problem and now have falling egg production. We need the girls to produce about 60 dozen eggs per day. As the day length decreases and the age of the existing flocks increase production has fallen to 45 dozen per day. I have instigated a schedule to deal with the shortage. There is no really truly fair way of doing this when we have people getting eggs of different schedules so please accept my apologies.
The replacement flock sizes have been increased from 500 to 800 but if they take longer to lay then that does not help us in the short term. We they do start laying then we will be set for the winter.... Nigel