my ladies are between 5 and 6 years old. they haven't been laying for around 8 months because of our move. they really lived in the lap of luxury in town, and once out here their pen got smaller (but much more secure) and they had to bed down in *gasp* a dog (lowly dogs
) carrier for a while until we built their hen house. a week or two ago there was one, lone egg in the straw of the hen house! surprising especially since it is so cold out and the days are so short. that was a vote of confidence in the new hen house! "I'm so comfy, I think I'll lay an egg despite it being winter!"
I plan on ordering up some chicks this spring. *gulp* 25 of them, the minimum order. I could never eat my girls; they'll be with us until they go to the Big Hen House in the Sky. Laying or not, they've got a place here. I wish I had more room, or could not order as many chicks (who am I kidding? I want all those super-cool breeds!), enabling me to get a few new chicks every spring, thus keeping a good crop of layers at all times, vs. a few years of good egg supply followed by a slacking off as they age, then a new crop of layers, and so on. Maybe I'll try to search out someone who wants to split a hatchery order with me.
I thought once we were out here, rural, that I would get a roo right away. But it is so quiet, I am hesitant to shatter that. There is a good possibility that DH would be quite unhappy with the crowing, as well. I might order a straight run of some bantams; if I get a roo, I get one. Are the bantams any quieter than a regular-sized rooster?