New South Wales, Australia
Posted Apr 12, 2013
After a debate spanning 6 months I finally convinced my parents that purchasing a few chooks for the sole purpose of egg laying and environmental sustainability is a good idea.
In Australia we call this particular breed ISA Brown but I guess the racy name chosen for these chooks elsewhere is the Brown Sex-Link Chicken (ooh la la).
I will first start by saying that if you are looking at purchasing hens for the sake of breeding, they are PERFECT.
On a good week, these chooks can lay up to 6 eggs a week each.
Their laying ability all really depends on mood, season and surroundings. Let your chickens free range during the day and lock them up at night for their safety and well being. You would be surprised to know that foxes are also not that uncommon in dense populations!
A good chicken coupe is also necessary. This will be the place where your hens breed, eat and sleep at night. We only had a small one to begin with but eventually got larger ones as we increased the quantity of chooks. Chicken coupes don't have to be expensive. I have attached of an example of one we purchased from a local supplier. You could easily just build your own.
These chooks are robust eaters. They will give anything a go. From kitchen scraps, to bread and pizza - they love it all! If you are going to feed them any of these, I would highly recommend that you leave these out first thing in the morning. This will ensure they are consumed by your chooks before night falls. This will ensure rodents and other predators are kept well away (and believe me we have learned the hard way before).
Another tip I can provide is that if you decide to buy this breed is that you should aim to buy them young but more importantly buy them during the spring and summer months. They tend to start laying more eggs in warmer months so it's important to get this right from the start or you may be waiting a while.
As far as grooming and well being, you should try and make sure there is a dirt patch somewhere. The birds love to have baths in dirt (its actually quite funny to watch).
You should also try and provide them with worming tablets at least every 3 months.
Quality chicken stockfeed will ensure they keep producing eggs that are tasty. Stockfeed has many nutritional benefits that will actually promote the egg laying process even further.
In summary, they are really easy to look after. They are the only environmentally sustainable pet that you will need in your backyard.