Isa Brown hens are bred to lay consistently every day in their first season. There are certain recommendations
to follow in order to keep a healthy egg laying flock.
Food: Good quality laying hens need a well-balanced and complete diet. They require a laying pellet/mash of 15-18 % protein. They enjoy house scraps, veggie peelings, scrap meat and foraging in gardens or on lawns. Once you have your hens on a laying pellet/mash and the egg production is good and the hens healthy, don’t change anything. Staying with the same brand of laying pellets/mash is recommended. We sell the feed our hens are raised on, Central West Poultry Layer Mash is a complete, nutritionally-balanced diet made for laying hens. It contains the proteins, calcium, shell grit and micro-nutrients required to keep your hens happy, healthy and laying. We make a simple but efficient No Fuss feeder, the hens can't scratch out the feed minimising wastage.
Water: Supply of fresh, clean water- especially in hot weather. Try our No Fuss Watering systems.
Housing: Hens require a covered area where they are sheltered from bad weather. The enclosure needs to be secured from other animals getting in e.g. foxes and dogs. Roosts should be flat and 75mm wide, with 200mm space for each bird and mounted above the nesting boxes. If using a round roost allow a diameter of 50mm.
Nesting boxes: Allow for 1 box per 5 birds. Approx. size 250mm wide x 350 mm deep x 350 mm high. Boxes need to be secured to prevent movement and placed in a dark location. You will need bedding in the box such as straw, wood shavings and shredded paper. Handy tip: line the bottom of your nesting box with newspaper, when it is time to clean it out you just pick up the newspaper and dispose of the waste. Check out our No Fuss single and double nesting box range.
Moulting: For a hen to rejuvenate at the end of their laying season (approx. 12 months) they will go into a moult for about 8 weeks. They will stop laying and loose some or all of their feathers. To help the feathers return, a good high protein feed is required at this time.
When will my hens start to lay?: Your hen should begin to lay between 18 – 24 weeks old. In winter they may take a bit longer. The first eggs will be small and over the next few weeks they will be a normal size
Introducing new hens to your existing flock: If possible separate the new hens from the old ones for several days so they can get used to each other. Older hens may peck, over dominate, and block the new ones from food and water. Observe the hens when you put them together and separate if not integrating well. Remember when you let your new hens out the first time they may not find their way back in to the hen house, so check they all get home the first few nights.