How to Get Egg-Laying Chickens for Free or Next to Nothing

  1. Check out www.craigslist.com for free hens. This is the best place to get hens without paying any money. Now keep in mind that most people give away hens for free for a REASON. Be sure not to get saddled with a very mean hen. However, even if the hen is not currently laying eggs, you can still use these hens. These hens will help you establish your new hen home for the babies you be bringing home soon. Try to bring home 3-4 hens.
  2. Now that you have a few seasoned hens in your coop, you can start looking for what is referred to as “fertile eggs.” The best place to find fertile eggs for cheap is on www.eBay.com. If you want a very specific breed, then I recommend Murray McMurray at www.mcmurrayhatchery.com. You may also be able to find some fertile eggs on craigslist. You should be able to get quite a few fertile eggs for less than $50 at a time.

  3. After you recieve your fertile eggs, place them under the hens that you currently have. All hens make very good mothers and guard their little ones closely. Hens will even hatch and raise duck eggs as their own. They are the best adopters in the animal kingdom and will rarely reject other baby chicks.

  4. You may want to mark which eggs are fertile so that you can collect the unfertile ones that your seasoned hens lay. The place that you recieved the eggs from will indicate how long it may take for the eggs to hatch. Continue to provide your hens with food, water and shelter.

  5. Do not help any of the chicks hatch once they start hatching. The mother hens will do their job better with less interference.

  6. Allow your baby chickens to reach maturity at 5-6 months. At this point, the females will become layers (be prepared for 1 egg a day) and your males will be ready to become “fryers.” This is an ideal time to harvest chickens for meat. You will not do your brood any justice having more than one rooster. Keep ONE rooster that you feel is a keeper and either eat or give the rest away.

  7. Enjoy your new egg-laying hens!

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