We have been keeping a log of how many eggs we are getting each day from our 13 hens. On average we are seeing four eggs per day which means that each day approximately nine of the hens are resting and not actively producing. Despite wanting to take this year off and hope that “someone” would decide to sit on eggs, we haven’t seen any inclination in this department.
After several discussions, DH and I decided that the best plan is to cull the flock a bit and add four new baby pullets to the flock. With warmer temperatures, we hope to have a bit of luck with raising them in an area near the main chicken coop. DH and DS will hopefully be able to modify a small wooden structure to accommodate four baby chicks under a heat lamp. It is hoped that modifications and a run between the main coop and the wooden structure will be completed by Friday so that when I run my Friday errands, I can pick up shavings, starter feed, and four baby chicks. If all goes well, we will then see if one of our neighbors who we know eats chickens–they have raised their own in the past and eaten them–would like to have our 3-year-olds (one Astralorp, one buff Orpington, and two black Sexlinks). These four are still occasionally laying an egg (lighter color and thin shell are a giveaway), so if they wish they can see how many they get from them still or not. Additionally, in the fall we will get four to six more baby pullets as we will need to cull out the new 3-year-olds in the spring. Since it takes 5-6 months before they start laying, we hope this will get us moving along again.
So lots of work ahead this week for DH and DS as they make modifications, and lots of work for me in the garden! Hopefully we will have pictures of the new babies this weekend or sometime next week. No time for boredom!
ON A SIDE NOTE: This is why we don’t name our chickens. It is too hard to get rid of them or lose them when you have given them names.