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K-State Annual Spring Pullet Sale Underway

by 5m Editor
23 April 2010, at 7:23a.m.

KANSAS, US - The Kansas State University Poultry Research and Teaching Unit's Spring Pullet Sale has begun.

The pullets, which are a White Leghorn hybrid cross, were raised by K-State students, said Scott Beyer, poultry specialist with K-State Research and Extension. These pullets consume less feed and lay more eggs than many other breeds.

All of the pullets, which sell for $6 each, have been vaccinated, slightly beak-trimmed and are ready to lay eggs. They can be picked up in Manhattan. More information is available by calling 785-539-5041.

K-State's poultry farm sells pullets each spring around the time of the K-State Open House, which this year is Saturday 24 April. It also has pullets for sale in the fall around Kansas State Fair time, Dr Beyer said. The money raised is used for maintenance projects in the poultry unit.

"Many people like to buy pullets since they are guaranteed to get only females," he said. "They are raised from chicks until 18 weeks of age, when egg production starts. They should produce a large number of quality eggs for at least two seasons."

Dr Beyer said the White Leghorn hybrid cross is feed efficient and highly productive compared with standard bred birds – a key consideration when trying to reduce feed costs.

Keeping pullets for eggs is relatively easy, the poultry specialist said.

"First, people should check local regulations to be sure that they can maintain a small poultry flock where they live," Dr Beyer said. "Then, they need to build a coop that is designed more for keeping predators out than keeping the chickens in. One of the biggest killers of poultry flocks are neighborhood dogs. It should be easy to clean and built to move if desired. Hybrid egg layers should consume only complete layer feed, though it is quite ok to feed scraps and supplements along with anything they may pick up free ranging."

One other thing the novice poultry owner should know, he said, is that light affects egg production.

"A hen´s clock is set to the longest day of the year, so to maintain egg production year round, a total of 16 hours of natural and artificial light should be given to the pullets," Beyer said. "In August, most producers do not use lights, but as the days grow shorter in the fall, they will use a light-sensitive timer to keep the day length at 16 hours."

More information about keeping poultry can be found in the K-State Research and Extension publication 'Managing a Small Flock of Chickens' [click here for PDF] or at county or district Extension offices.