Most new chicken keepers are attracted to the hobby by the prospect of a regular supply of delicious, fresh eggs. While healthy young hens should each produce five or six eggs a week, they will only do so reliably if they are enjoying life in an unstressed, pleasant environment.

Sustaining good egg production is something of a balancing act; hens won’t simply pop the eggs out like machines. There are plenty of factors that can upset their laying rhythm, from harassment by other pets or young children, to environmental pressures such as overcrowding or substandard husbandry.

Get the balance right, however, and your ...

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