Friday, December 29, 2006
Here a Hen, There a Hen, Everywhere a Hen Hen
My new layers this year were very late in starting to lay eggs. They are wonderful foragers though and truly free range all around our property. They go in the woods, they cover the garden area, they even make it to my front yard. They are in the goat pasture, the sheep pasture, and down by the pond. I was told that since they started to lay so late this year that I should not expect many eggs through the winter from them. They are laying very well. However, I wonder how many eggs are being layed in obscure places that I have not found. This morning when I went out to do my chores, I was watching the chickens all scattered around. As I ducked my head and went into the goat shed, I looked to the right and the chicken in the first picture was laying in a nest that has been used lately. I find anywhere from 1 to 3 eggs in this nest each day. Then as I went into the milk parlor area, the chicken in the second picture was sitting on the crate in there doing her thing. This crate has some stuff stored in the bottom. There is a window opening just above it that goes into the hay rack area of the goat shed. We put hay through the window all the time and some drops off and it has built up in the crate. We find anywhere from zero to 4 eggs in there each day. Then as I looked out into the goat area of the shed, there was another hen in the corner by the water bucket laying her egg for the day. We find them all over the place. If it will ever start to act like winter and get cold for an extended period of time, we want to lock them in the coop for a week and see how many eggs we get and to try and teach them what nest boxes are for. =)
This is Honeysuckle all by her lonesome. She misses having her daughter in with her. They talk over the fence though. Her daughter is still in with the buck and will be there until sometime tomorrow. Then all will be back to normal. =) Doesn't she look sad??