back to five

We’re finally back up to five laying hens out of our grand total of eight.

The eggers have been good layers since they hit chicken puberty before Christmas.  Pippi has been a complete mystery because she laid all winter, albeit not daily.  Then Nony finally decided to start laying again about a week ago.  Five laying hens.  Woo hoo!

The three delinquent hens are the eldest: Daisy, Ella, and Caroline.  Caroline started rooting around the nest boxes about two weeks ago so we were hopeful that she would start laying again soon.  Not yet.  Daisy and Ella show no interest, although they look much better now that they’ve molted and regained weight after Scruffy was, ahem, “out of the picture.”

On good days we’re getting four eggs: Beaker’s blue-green, Hawkeye’s light brown, Cleo’s creamy taupe (and sometimes big!!), and/or the dominques’ darker brown eggs.  On slow days we get one–or even none.

Ron’s latest theory about the eldest trio is that their mixed breed-ness is somehow interfering with their winter laying.  The other is that they’re older so they “know” they should lay eggs when the chicks have a good sense of survival.  Winter with two feet of snow on the ground = not a good chance.  But Pippi and Nony are only a few weeks younger than the first three hens and they are laying again so that suggests theory #2 doesn’t hold much water.

At any rate, we’re glad to have more eggs.  I keep thinking that this carton of eggs from the farmers’ market or our co-op will be the last one we buy for, oh, eight or nine months, but it’s been a moving target–and one that is still moving.

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