These speckled, dirty eggs represent something exciting:
Spring! Ok, it’s not going to be spring any time soon. But they do tell me that the days are getting longer, and that spring will come eventually. Back in september I forgot to put the timed light into the chicken coop. The hens won’t lay if they don’t get enough daylight. Sure enough in October egg production slowed down noticeably. I plugged in the light, but it was too late. Once the hens start to moult nothing but time will help them out of it. This winter it was really bad though, we collected about 2 eggs a week in November and the ladies essentially took December and January off.
At first I was confused. We usually get a few eggs even through their moult. Then I realized, most of my layers are OLD. As in 4 years or more. Four year old chickens, apparently, like to take the winter off. And the 5 new hens we added to the flock this summer didn’t hatch until the last week of August so they’re just now 5 months old. Right on schedule they’ve all started to lay. After collected one egg for the ENTIRETY of january we got 3 yesterday – and another 3 today! Good thing too, because we’re getting tired of buying eggs AND chicken food.
In slightly related spring-type news the USDA has an interactive growing zone map on their website. Instead of staring at the map of your state and guessing what zone you’re town falls into now you can zoom right in on your address and figure out exactly what growing zone you’re in.
Unless you’re like me. In which case all this map really says is that I’m right on the edge of the growing zone. And I knew that already…