New Laying Hen Flock Arrives at Sleepy Cat Farm
New laying Hen Flock arrives at Sleepy Cat Farm
Our flock of laying hens was, for the most part, the original hens we purchased four years ago. Now over four years old, laying had dropped off significantly, but not appetites! We were able to find new homes for the birds, and have now expanded with the addition of twelve young hens, aged 17 weeks. Laying normally begins at 22-24 weeks, depending upon variety.
I was fortunate to discover a young man, breeding hens organically in North Branch, NY at a reasonable price, and he had a nice selection of his own breeding stock, featuring several heritage breeds.
I met Ben at his farm, Red Feather Farm, and we selected six pairs of hens of the following breeds:
White Brahma, Buff Brahma and Grey Brahma, Welsummer, Easter Egger and Cuckoo Marans. This will give us a diverse selection of egg colors, behavioral patterns and a colorful flock . (See photos below).
The Brahmas all have feathered feet, and are docile birds that are known for being decent meat birds and somewhat better winter layers – a dual purpose breed.
The Cuckoo Marans lay chocolate brown eggs and sport a silvery checkered coat.
The Easter Eggers lay a variety of colored eggs: blue, green, and olive colored eggs.
The Welsummer is a beautiful breed from Holland famous for its deep reddish brown egg color. Many of the eggs are also speckled! Hens are a nicely proportioned partridge pattern, with hints of gold around the neck, medium brown on the body and tail feathers tipped with a rich brown.
We hope the ladies are happy in their new home at Sleepy Cat Farm.
Photos courtesy of Kathy Landman