Lesson 287 – More sunlight = more chicken eggs

We are starting to see signs of Spring (even though the temperatures are still hovering in the low 20’s). There is bright sunlight in the morning and there’s still glorious light at 6:00 in the evening. It’s enough for us all to exhale that breath we’ve been holding on to since the darkness arrived.

Although many chicken owners do, we do not add light to our chicken coop in order to encourage egg production in the winter. We are not an egg business and if the girls want to take it easy during the cold months and slack off just a bit, that’s fine with me. Hey, I’ve been known to take to the electric blanket heated bed a few times myself on those cold afternoons, I know how they feel.

With the arrival of sunlight though, things change. This increase in light exposure triggers hens to begin laying eggs (and it triggers moms to get up earlier in the morning). While we had been averaging about 9-11 eggs a day (we currently have 33 hens) we are now getting more like 15-18 eggs a day. Remember we have a slew of bantams who do not lay regularly but it seems that our hardy layers are really picking up production.

In our own personal Easter Egg hunt, every time we check the coop, sure enough, there’s another one.

Hello my poppet.

All of this of course, means a few things. With this increased production, we’ll be on the lookout for calcium depletion. Things like soft shells, shell-less eggs, and thin spots will be carefully monitored and at the first sign of these you can bet we’ll be adding in just a wee bit extra oyster shell until we see these pesky signs go away.

The other thing this means? I’ll be brushing up on my egg recipes. Spinach bacon quiche anyone?

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2 responses to “Lesson 287 – More sunlight = more chicken eggs

  1. Although we do not sell our eggs, our three chickens are lean and mean (though surrounded by an electric fence that may or may not work), so we provide them with artificial light. As the timer light goes on so early, unwanted early awakening may be why one our them pecks us from time to time, though our neighbor says it is only to get our attention as she does not have fingers to grab us or a tail to wag or a purr to pet us.

    I have noted that many food companies are making smaller packages to hide that they are raising prices. Our chickens don’t have a television or an Internet connection, but they may be getting the news in some fashion. Over the last week, we have found three eggs in the nesting box that are about 1/3 the size of normal Dominique eggs. Do these eggs have yolks? We haven’t opened them yet.

  2. Oh, please share some recipes – ours never got the winter-is-slow-time memo, and we have been egg salad and frittatta-ed to death! I have even been taking some by the local no-kill animal shelter, for the dogs on quarantine. I sell them (that’s my morning latte money!), but that seems to ebb and flow.

    What I’m trying to work out is how I can have three different types of chickens, and be getting four colors of eggs…

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