- Written by Maria McDonald
About Brown Hens and Spring…
As you may know, I have 25 brown laying hens. They are my pride and joy. I got them last summer as chicks, raised them outside on grass and pretty soon I started finding an egg or two! That was sure exciting!
Not long after my first eggs, the weather turned cold and I put the hens in the barn with the ram lambs where it would be warmer. Usually a hen will not lay as many eggs or possibly stop laying all together when the weather gets cold and the days get shorter, but not these ones! They had started laying and there was no stopping them now!
I started counting the eggs…16, 14, 17, that’s pretty good laying, since you really can only expect 2 eggs for every 3 hens every day. And then I started writing down how many eggs I got. I also wrote down the temperature every morning. I was now on a mission to discover how temperature, time of year, and the age of the hen, affected how many eggs there were.
Well, so far I discovered that when the temp goes down, the number of eggs will go down a day or two later. Cold weather, less eggs…warm weather, more eggs.
So now I am looking forward to see what they’ll do in the spring and summer and then how being 1 ½ years old will affect them next winter…so much to learn! How exciting!
This morning, as I routinely checked the outside temp, I discovered that it went from -10 Celsius (yesterday) to +10! Wow! I marked it down on my chicken calendar (the one with all the temps and number of eggs) and went to pull out my rubber boots. Yay! It’s so great to finally get out of my heavy winter boots…warm boots, but HEAVY.
Wayne and I went out to feed everyone. The air was balmy, all the smells were thawing out and all the animals were just soaking it all up, standing in the sun…eyes half closed…pure bliss!
My brown hens used the opportunity for a splendid dust bath in the SUN! When I went to pick eggs, there was only 9…huh? I guess they were too busy enjoying the sun! I bet they were thinking…’I just wanna fluff in the dust here for one more minute, I’ll lay my egg later…’
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