I recently came across this little bit of interesting hen information:
“Did you know… To produce one egg, it takes a hen 26-28 hours, and to do so, she requires 5 oz. of food & 10 oz. of water. After a thirty minute rest period she starts all over again! That’s one busy chick!”
I just think it’s amazing that these birds are so programmed to constantly produce like this. Granted, they slow down in the winter but they don’t stop. We’ll still be getting eggs from this endless production cycle.
You couldn’t stop this cycle if you wanted. It’s not within your reach to halt it anyway. It’s something that’s innate, a need, a compulsion to create this egg within her body and then to push it out, over and over and over.
It’s hard work, and just because millions and millions of other hens are also doing this, doesn’t mean that it comes without pain and some temporary discomfort. Continue reading
It is amazing how a flock’s egg production drops so drastically in the fall (just as amazing at how it seems to pick up so quickly in the spring). Cold weather and dark days are a signal to the chickens to lay low, give their bodies a rest, recharge for the coming season.
We’ve gone from 19 eggs a day (from our roughly 30 laying bird flock which includes half a dozen bantams who are not daily layers to maybe 20 eggs total every other day. Nothing has changed in the diet, the birds are healthy, it’s all just nature slowing things down a bit.
I see this happening in our family, how we’ve changed from the quick, quick, cold tuna salad dinners served on the porch to the slow simmering beef stews that take time and leave you full and warm as you sit around the table, preferring to discuss the day rather than go away to the cold.
In the winter, I am always sluggish. I get up later (just can’t do it in the dark.) Our house is freezing so our bodies really feel the seasonal difference. We wear multiple sweaters in the house, wrap ourselves in blankets when we settle down to read a book or watch TV. When I write, I have to wear those Bob Cratchit gloves in an effort to keep my hands warm.
We slow down, we conserve energy, conserve heat. We regroup from the frenetic pace of summer followed by endless fall soccer games to the muffled quiet of cold. Continue reading