We have about fifty Austrolorp laying hens and one rooster, Hans. We just moved them onto a fallow field near the goats today. The rest of our fields are getting limed and cover-cropped for the winter, so we need to get all the fencing and trellising off them for right now.
They’ve been laying eggs for about two months now. Austrolorps are classified as “dual-purpose” chickens, which means that they lay eggs at a good rate but also gain weight quickly enough to be used as meat birds. Which means, basically, you can’t have enough Austrolorps.
On Oct. 15th, we took some of the eggs and, instead of eating them for breakfast, we put them into a $40 styrofoam incubator. Some of us were skeptical, but then one day we started hearing “peep peep! peep peep!” from inside the eggs, and pretty soon, they were pecking through.