We are finally starting to get eggs after a winter of seeing none. None.
I know that the founders of our flock are starting to see the near side of 5 years, but still, you’d think that we’d have had some remaining layers still around.
But in New Hampshire this is something I’ve heard from a few chicken owners, eggs are scarce this season. It’s been and continues to be a brutally cold winter and intense cold equals stress.
Along with that physical stress comes the constant struggle to keep the girls in water. When the thermometer dips (well) below zero, even our trusty water heater can’t keep up and the water quickly freezes. That situation leads to another source of stress contributing to egg scarcity.
When it becomes a matter of life or death to keep yourself warm and hydrated, your body tends to shut down non-essential functions – like egg laying. In fact, when it’s brutal like this, some of the older chickens just can’t keep up at all, we’ve lost 3 chickens this winter, the biggest hit we’ve had since starting with a flock.
Lately, we’ve had some warmer days in-between the perpetual blizzards of Winter 2014. Enough to melt the snow and ice (we actually chipped down to the wooden porch this past weekend.) And the sun is starting to assert her grace on our days. I look out to the coop and I see our girls roosting with their bodies turned toward the sun. Drinking in what warmth they can while they are able.
The warmth restores.
And look, some eggs. Like the trickle of a spring thaw, we are only finding one or two a day but we are starting to find them.
It’s a sign – Spring will eventually arrive and with it will come some new chicks to replenish our older flock. We’ll be back in chicks, eggs, and sunny days again – at some point.
Some point soon, I can tell.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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