No Eggs? What's the Problem Girls?

A beautiful sight but my hens aren't laying. 


There is nothing more fun to most kids and that includes me as a youngster, than to gather the eggs from the nest in the hen house.Sometimes the hens are on the nest and startle us when we try to take the eggs and they  peck our hand; Ouch! we continue anyway. Free ranging chickens find other places to lay their eggs besides the hen house and that is always an adventure of hide-and-seek. Even more exciting wen you find a nest full.    


I love having chickens for many reasons:


 One, most obvious are the eggs they lay. The taste is rich, not bland as the store bought are. Some people like that dark yellow, almost orange yolk and its rich flavor. Some don't. But this farm girl does and loves to dip her toast in the yolk just like her daddy did. 

Secondly, one of the best thing about having a flock on the homestead is when the rooster crows early morning, about daybreak. We are up  anyway.  It absolutely amazes me every time  he does so, just like "clockwork."

Thirdly, nothing more exciting than a broody  hen setting on her eggs. In only 21 days baby chicks hatch. Such a show when she brings them out in the yard for the first time.   It amazes me once again how she has been programmed  by the  higher power of creation to know just what to do.
Fourthly, (is that a real word) after only eight weeks of growing,  there is nothing like a good old fashioned, iron-skillet full of fried chicken  on a Sunday afternoon following church with the family.

Now here's my problem-no eggs! 


The rooster is still crowing but the girls have stopped  laying. Stopped laying late November.  They are on strike, a vacation. or in this case, they have taken a time out. In the winter, there is not enough daylight to stimulate the production of eggs.They need 14 hours of daylight the books tell us.    I could stimulate them by placing  a light in the chicken coop. But I know  as the days get longer the eggs will start coming again. Not soon enough for me," miss impatient."  

If you want eggs all winter  like Grandma Phillips did.........

I suddenly remembered she once instructed me to always have   young pullets starting  their  first laying cycle in  September or October and you won't be without  eggs in the winter. Her favorite chicken  was the Rhode Island Red. "Good for meat and eggs," she told me.   Calculate: if we hatch chicks  in the spring and the pullets begin to lay 5-6 months later, BINGO, that would be perfect timing.  Not sure why this works or why the light doesn't affect the young pullets  as much,  but I did  follow her instruction  many years ago and I remember that it did work.   Going to give it a try this year since my hens are 2nd and 3rd year layers. in time, they will lay less and less.   Time to buy some chicks  this spring so I'll have new  pullets in the  fall.  Got to get on line and check out what's out there. Craig's List here I come.

For sure, I miss gathering eggs. 


 As an alternative to "no eggs at the hen house" we bought some brown eggs from a neighbor. Since  he feeds them egg- maker and does not let them  free-range the eggs are the same as buying store bought eggs; boring. The key to having those dark, yellow yolks are allowing the hens to run around in the yard. Sometimes you get chicken poop on the porch, but hey, the eggs are fantastic. In this life one must make sacrifices. I am however combating the chicken poop on the porch problem by  training Howard, our Corgi, to shew them away from the house. He's getting pretty good at it without me having to tell him.

 So, today,  get your plan together, get some chicks in your future.  If not a hundred or more  like my Grandma used to do, who marketed her eggs and her fryers to the original Kroger in Amelia, once located near Luke's on Rt. 125  and she made good money at it too. Or if you just want to supply your own family,   get a few. You'll be glad you did and  You'll love those Farm Fresh Eggs!!!
Free Ranging
Here's hoping for an egg in the hen house real soon. 
Sherry Mitchell-Farm Girl

Comments

  1. Yea, I raise my own chickens and I agree farm fresh eggs are the best.

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  2. I have always wanted to raise my own chickens, but alas have always lived in they suburbs. Here in Minneapolis we can have chicken coops in city limits, but our neighbors have to sign off on them, and don't exactly have the yard for them to run around in. Great post!

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