Friday, January 27, 2017

Spring Is on Its Way!

So, we are still in winter time, but spring is coming!  Daylight hours are getting longer and the chickens have started to increase their laying. Yay!  I couldn't believe that even though we now have 24 laying hens, I was not really getting any more eggs than when I had 10 and 12 layers.  It is amazing how different breeds make all the difference.

When we first got hens I made sure to get heavy layers that included several hybrids such as Amber links, ISA browns (so the label said), and Australorp.  Later we would add Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red and Easter Egger.  That crew could lay!  Last spring we added 10 more purchased pullets and 4 of our 6 hatched chicks were pullets (hens).  I figured once they matured last fall we would be rolling in eggs.  NOPE.  Even with all those layers we still averaged about 8-10 eggs on good days.  When daylight hours shortened I was lucky to get 3-4 and most days 3 would come from my Leghorn and California Whites (Leghorn cross).  Actually had one day a week or so ago with 0, yes ZERO, eggs!  Freeloaders! Our older hens are now 3 years old so that attributes to the lower laying rate also.

One thing I have noticed while raising chickens the past 3 years, you really get in tune with the seasons.  They get up when they do and they go to bed when they do and taking care of them requires knowing when sunrise and sunset are at all times.  I do not have an electric coop door and I definitely am not johnny on the spot in hitting their awake and sleep times, but I get it pretty close.  And let me tell you, they let me know in the mornings when I am running late.  Some are quite vocal about it!  They are quite the sassy crew.

I had intended on keeping a better log of my chicken keeping and since I am so behind on regular postings I might take the next few weeks to "catch up" on a lot of "farm" happenings in our coop.  We have had additions and losses.  One loss to death and several to rehomings.  I am currently wishing one of my hens would go broody again so we can hatch some more babies, but alas, I am not sure they intend to comply.

Until we meet again, stay warm if it's cold where you are! (If you live in nice warm weather we may not talk to you right now, just kidding!!).

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