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Monday, November 22, 2010

Chicken Mystery

Sometime last year I had the brilliant idea that keeping chickens would be fun and educational for our little familia. Fast forward 6 months - we built a coop, bought some hens and began eagerly anticipating the feast of eggs to follow.

You'll remember the chickens were quite shy for about a month. As in, zero eggs. Cleaning up chicken poop and feeding the girls each day became quite a frustrating exercise. Where was the reciprocation!?

Then miracle of miracles we had a two egg day! Two beautiful brown speckled eggs. Followed by many many more one egg days. I assumed both girls were producing since the breeds we bought are only supposed to lay 3-4 times each week.

Wrong. Come October we suddenly found ourself with a two egg day again, only the two eggs looked very different. Aha! So our blond hen, Charlotte, lays cafe au lait colored eggs and our brown hen, Hester, lays brown speckled eggs.

Suddenly we were inundated with eggs. 10-12 a week to be exact. I was giving them away to neighbors, friends and family almost as quickly as they were laid. And then one day about two weeks back I went out to collect and nada. Nothing. And the next day, no egg either. The day after that, ZERO eggs. Finally on day four there was a lovely little cafe au lait egg. And ever since, some days one, some days none. Always cafe au lait though. It seems now our reliable little Hester is on strike. She's stopped laying altogether.

The chicken learning curve is steeper than I thought indeed.

So I'm stumped. Do chickens have boom and bust cycles? Should I consult a vet? The internet has shockingly done me very little good. If you know any chicken experts, I'd be glad of an opinion!

1 comment:

  1. Im telling you, Hester is a diva. Perhaps she requires a little more luxury in her dressing room... er, coop than Charlotte does? Heater for Hester? :)


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