Category: Hens (page 1 of 3)

The ‘new’ hens and egg news

We got the ‘new’ hens on Saturday, 3 seem to be a mix of Aracauna-ish and Rhode Island Red –though are supposedly all brown egg layers, and then we have 6 Rhode Island Reds. The man set aside 9 hens for us, not the 7 we had said, so we ended up with 2 more, DH took them anyway.

We have one pen thus far from that farm, and will hopefully get the other one today or tomorrow or the next day. The one we have doesn’t have a top and needs to be retrofitted for our usage — a door or two on the sides (or more), a laying box or two accessible from a door on the side or top, and a top that is secure but open-able. We have a temporary arrangement of metal roofing overlayed and a couple pieces of fencing as supports for that, and a piece of plywood on one end to fully fill out the space, since the pen is longer than the metal roofing. Like I said, that’s a temporary situation.

The new hennies are beat up looking, probably from the Roosters they used to live with on the farm. Thus far they are getting along with each other, and not pecking each other at all, as far as I know. We got 2 eggs from those hennies on Saturday, maybe 3, the third one being either late Saturday, or very early Sunday, and I think it was late Saturday. On Sunday we got 6 more eggs from them, as well as one of my other hens actually laid an egg! It was in the Black Australorp pen, and that surprised me, they didn’t look quite ready to lay (comb and wattles not waxy red, just getting redder lately but not “waxy and fully red” looking) but my two Wyandottes both “look more ready” with Trinity having a very waxy red comb and wattles and fully feathered and getting noisier, and Pointsettia having a waxy red comb and wattles and still not quite feathered out at the base of her back where her tail starts, and she’s not noisy. (A noisier hen is a sign of laying coming, during their laying season they will often get vocal every day a bit before laying, then quietly lay the egg, maybe announce it a bit loudly, then be quiet until the next egg laying session.)

I have to get some sort of laying box rigged up for them today, that I can access from the top of the pen. The pen is too high for me to get any eggs laid on the ground, seeing as there are no doors on the sides especially. DH has to get the eggs, I can’t do it alone at all, though he can, FWIW. Not good, since he’s not always here some days, for one to three days in a row.

I’ll see about a picture of the ‘new’ hens later –like I said about, they do look rather rough and ratty, and so aren’t pretty like my hens are when they aren’t molting. I don’t know how long it’ll take for them to feather out nicely, they are in a laying cycle and I don’t know how long they’ve been in this laying cycle. It’s a “just see what happens in the future” situation, which I am very accustomed to dealing with on many fronts. πŸ™‚

I will have “egg reports” available on special pages, as I used to have in 2005 (and this blog was non-active for 2006) –look on my sidebar for “month year” links currently starting with (03-07) March 2007. I’ll try to keep it “up to date” daily as much as possible.

Gaining hennies

Our hennies haven’t been laying since the end of November. I’m hoping they’ll start laying soon.

Recent picture of the Wyandottes. They are looking like they are ready to lay …

I have other news about eggs though.

We’ve been getting eggs from the meat store a few miles up the road, which carries mostly natural/organic meat varieties. The eggs were from a farm a bit north and west of there. That farm also has honey.

The other day my hubby came home from the meat store and told me that they said the farm was closing, so they’d not have any more eggs once the store’s current supply ran out. So he bought 5 doz. eggs.

We pass that farm when driving around sometimes, and I’ve wanted to go there, they are open to visitors, just drop in. We just haven’t ever done it, and so yesterday we were driving home and we passed the farm and I mentioned to my hubby about it, wondering what they’ll do with their hennies, and so he hit the brakes, turned around and pulled into their farm property.

Soon thereafter the man of the place came out and talked to my hubby (they’ve seen each other at the meat store before) and hubby motioned to me and the children to get out if we wanted to.

They were giving away their hens, and had at least 100 left. They’d already had someone take the green layers. πŸ™

They have left some auracana/mix sorts that lay brown eggs, Rhode Island Reds and Black Stars, both also lay brown eggs.

Hubby and I will get 7 hens, the first two varieties, maybe 3 and 4 of each respectively. We weren’t prepared to get them last night when we were there, and won’t be able to get back there until Saturday.

Walking back to the vehicle hubby asked the man about some pens and the man is giving them to us. Well that is great. We need stuff for the new ones and want to build on that stuff with our old ones, reducing what pens we have to nearly nil, getting everyone together as best as can.

Once we get the stuff I’ll see about posting pictures on this blog. We’ll get the pens retro-fitted to do what we want and then build something to go with them.

Before we left hubby asked for the man’s “card” and he had to go inside to get one and said he had something for me too. He came back with a big tray of eggs, and was giving them to me, ‘layed the day before,’ he said. 2 1/2 dozen more eggs. We’ll sure use them and the ones we bought the other day as well.

Well the story of the farm is that they have run it for 3 years, bought the land as an investment, hoping to make something ($) on it eventually. The area is growing, it’s very country right now, but about to explode, firstly with a new 4 lane road, which is major expansion, and other things being built around there. Don’t know if he was approached or if he looked for a deal, but he’s getting out, a commercial something bought him, at least doubled his investment. He’s liquidating most everything, and that’s what happened for us, gaining things of value for no $. Nice, but we’ll miss the fact that the area in question is developing. It’s a sad thing.

So we’ll have some “new” hens that are laying, hopefully, soon. I’m hoping that my current hennies will get down to business sooner. The farm has roosters, and the ladies there are used to having a rooster, plus more, taking care of things. Sans rooster here, but my ladies haven’t a clue about roosters. The “new” ones might spread some tales, and I hope they’ll all be OK without a rooster, won’t carry on about it, if you know what I mean. :rolleyes:

Hens and dog again

I just moved the Leghorn pen, the slow way, inch by inch, pull this side, pull that side, straighten that part, pull again … etc.

I checked for eggs there this morning, much earlier, and noticed dirt next to the pen, and a hole right there. There were no eggs in the pen. Victoria had said yesterday that there were 3 eggs in there. I hadn’t gotten them, they should have been there today. But they weren’t, and I can venture to say what it was. Not really a guess, just a “didn’t see it” but evidence is high enough to understand it.

Doggie ate baby bird today. Doggy must have dug next to and under the hennie pen to get those eggs. They don’t have a nest box in there right now, so they’d be available if they were near to the side of the pen. Doggy has never done this before. Dug, yes. Dug into the pen? No.

There are several white feathers all over the pen. It’s my guess that he did the deed earlier this morning, he was out loose all night. He had been in his crate all afternoon because of the thunderstorms, so I let him out last night to run free, didn’t put him in his own pen out there. I should have. He just must have scared the whities, and some lost a few feathers in fright, they all were there, and looked aright. [yes, that’s it, “aright” not a mispelling!]

I just didn’t realize that the baby birds would be out of their nest so soon, or that the dog would dig to get eggs ever. Dumb me. I knew previous to yesterday that I wanted the dog put away from about then on “because of the possible mocks out of nest soon”. Kick myself a bit there.

So I finally decided it’s best to move the hens further from that hole the dog made. I moved them a bit, then more, then figured since I was doing it inch by inch and I’d done that much, it’s not much harder to just keep going and move them out to totally fresh grass. I’m bad about it when Frank’s not here and I don’t feel well. So now that I’m thinking on it I do need to give them a box again. I’ll try and get them one a bit later, the sun is brutal at this hour still.

I did get one egg from that pen this afternoon. The A-frame biddies haven’t laid a thing in a few days, and just one egg before that, and very little before that. They look fine. Nice and red combs and all that. Figuring it’s time to turn on a light for them. Already. I don’t know, and don’t feel like looking it up, how much daylight we have this week each day, or how soon it gets down to much lower. All in all, the hens have laid when they’ve wanted to, in their second year, and don’t go by conventions sake at all. God knows why, but we don’t. πŸ™‚

So when it comes down to it, those three eggs the dog got *most likely* really add up to be missed at this time of the year, especially seeing as the A-Framers haven’t contributed to the pot at all recently.

Rainy Monday

Frank is out of town today. He’s got my cold now too, just the headcold part so far. He doesn’t sound so good over the phone. He says he’s feeling OK though. I, for myself, am not feeling that bad, but I had another bad night last night, that’s three in a row. It’s this virus-cold thing. I’m just bothered by it enough that in the day it’s just blah and not bad just blowing the noze and sneezing off and on, and feeling a bit tired, more tired when I sit down, but at night, I’m tired, very tired, in bed I am just achy blah, not comfy, not totally horrid, just not comfy at all.

I’ll be glad when this thing lifts.

I’m a bit yuckied at this though, since I was planning on painting the hallway upstairs, with Frank not here. But I’m feeling bad enough not to undertake that job. Well, I do have to get the hens moved outside. They were moved yesterday, but Frank was going to move them for me today before he left, and forgot. It’s been raining, so it’s mucky in their pens already. It’s like that. If it doesn’t rain it’s alright to leave them there a day or two. With rain it’s best to move them two or three times a day. Rarely do they get moved when it’s raining though, so the white hens get really muddy and terrible looking. The other hens are all dark and look fine in any sort of weather.

The last few days the hens haven’t laid as much as they had been doing. Don’t know why. It’s just the way it is sometimes. So off I go to slosh through the wet grass, it’s very soggy underneath it all.

Moving the pen caused loss

Yesterday I moved the Leghorn pen, to give them some fresher grass, as well as to collect the five eggs they’d laid. For some reason without a box they all lay in a different spot, so the eggs are not in a pile or even close to one another, but all spread out. The pen they are in, to remind readers, is the Superyard, which originally was a baby containment gate system in our home. I carried it outside one day whatever year that was, and the rest is history. Since this year the roof consists of a large piece of plywood, which is VERY heavy, I can’t move the pen easily. My method is now: two long 2×4’s, get them under the pen, which I can do on the sides, then pull the pen over the 2×4’s to fresh grass. It works, it’s easy compared to any other method I could choose from. πŸ™‚

This 2×4 method to move the Superyard pen makes collecting the eggs, as yesterday proved, easy yet very hard. The dog was running around and I had no human helper. I pulled the pen, intending to stop before getting to the first egg. I pulled and dog came and ran away. I pulled too far. He got an egg. Urg! Oh no! He got TWO eggs! How did that happen? Hmm. I pulled it too far too fast. I didn’t realize how much of my strength I had put into it. It’s not that I had to output the strength, it’s more like, I put more pull into it than I needed to, without realizing how far I had pulled. I ran after the dog, I could see the white egg sticking out of his mouth, he must have had two in there, he has a big mouth. πŸ™‚ I couldn’t get him, so he went off under the deck to munch on his unexpected bonus win. He’s quick, I know that, so I pulled the pen fast so that I could get the next egg, there were only three left to collect, and one was right there a few inches away, I could get it if I hurried, without worrying about the dog getting it. I hurried alright, smack — crunch. I didn’t pay attention in the rush of it all and smooshed the egg, I didn’t have enough clearance to get over the egg. Usually I do using the 2×4 method, sometimes extra care needs to be invoked, and in this case, I didn’t pay close enough attention to consider that. πŸ™

So I carefully pulled the pen the rest of the way, scanning my environment for the dog as I pulled, and I got the only two eggs I could collect, and pulled the pen to it’s final grassy position for the day.

The dear Leghorns laid 5 nice eggs yesterday, but I only got 2 to take into the house for human consumption. The dog took 2 and got a 3rd as extra-bonus-bonus.

The hennies are all doing fine. They are laying fairly well, I’m just not counting their eggs. Somedays we don’t get many from either pen, not the same day necessarily. It’s 2 in one pen, 5 in another, or 6 in one and 4 in the other, or none and 7, or 3 and 5, etc.

It’s mid-point in Summer, sort of. Laying of eggs will go on, if all goes well, into November, maybe longer. I do hope to have good enough surroundings for some of them to continue on laying in Winter. I want to get some new girls, this fall if I can, who will be new layers next Spring. If we wait until Spring, we won’t have new layers until Summer or later. The Leghorns we have hatched in October the other year. They began laying in March. That was nice. So if I can get some hens to keep laying over Winter and let some molt, then have new pullets laying begin in early Spring, and the molters will begin laying then or a bit later, and during later winter/early spring I can let the winter layers molt if they want to or not if they don’t want to. Sounds nice, but it won’t work out so easily.

We are at the point to plan “What do we do with our old biddie Leghorns”. They are not cheap to keep around, and as long as they lay eggs they are valuable … we won’t be eating those stringy chickens, they are scrappy Italian production facilities, not to-be-eaten-by-us-hens. The other hens we have, the Wyandottes and Australorps are much meatier. I don’t want to eat them either. They are my dear friends. I want to raise chickens to eat. We raised these chickens to lay eggs for us to eat. In worse times I can see eating your old biddies, but not in these times, currently. πŸ™‚

Hennie Pennie Talk

I haven’t written about my Hennie Pennies for awhile, they deserve a few words. They didn’t lay over Winter, that’s alright. They were slow in getting to the laying part of it this Spring though, but did do it. The Leghorn hens are old, for hens. We got them in February 2003, they hatched in October 2002. As Pullets their first laying began in March 2003. That information combined with this years timing means they are in their 3rd laying season, and doing well. Not every day for each one, but some seem to be every 2 days, and some are every day almost. We have 7 Leghorns and often get 4 white eggs a day. They are our only white egg layers.

Our green layer is Hawklady. She’s doing alright, laying often: every other day, many times every day for a few or up to a week, sometimes off for 2 or 3 days, but overall, a good layer. Sporatic pattern, but laying.

The 2 Wynadottes, brown layers, are laying, as are the other brown layers, the 4 Australorps. That’s 6 hens in the brown egg category, and we get 2 or 4 eggs sometimes each day, often more so 4, and sometimes 5 or 6.

I have been horrid about counting the eggs on a sheet of paper, or on the computer. I have these neat little plans in my head, and they don’t translate onto visual very often, to my shame. I really want to have accurate figures, and fall off the wagon too often.

I have had too many eggs to do anything with at times this year, but not for very long. I have a rash of eggs to give to the animals now, old ones that are too old for people to eat. Dog and cat will eat the ones they want to, not bad ones usually. It’s not that they are “bad” only eggs with bacteria in them are “that bad” and they are eggs usually that are cracked or filthy for days on end, but almost universally will have a crack somewhere, hairline or bigger, whether or not it’s found by a knowing human. So my contention here is only that “bad eggs” come about because of hairline fractures in the shell, and that fracturing allows the introduction of bacteria.

I am not saying there is no other way for an egg to go bad, just that this is the main thing about it most of the time, in my mind. I never saw a bad egg before last year, and it was a very dirty egg, about 2 weeks old, I opened it up and said “yup!”. Further understanding came when I did see that hairline crack afterwards.

Since having hens that lay I’ve been careful to inspect the eggs and use whatever is cracked or hairline cracked right away, but that doesn’t mean a super-hairline crack could go unfound, of which I did have one of those the second egg year. None others that year though.

This year I’ve had a couple of bad eggs, my practices are worse though. It’s just that I don’t “always” clean the eggs right away, and then I often clean them before I use them. Eggs built up this year and I didn’t use them as fast as I wanted to, so I had a couple of “going bad” things when I did get to some “sort of older” eggs. I don’t have a box for my Leghorns to lay in and it can get messy when they aren’t moved on the grass to a new location ‘religiously’, therefore in the case of things as they are, the eggs aren’t “lilly white” when I get them. I need to get a box out to them, that alleviates dirty broken eggs of any sort, if I make sure the straw or hay is clean each morning. Rain makes my nesting boxes fall apart. They are simply the water boxes we get 6-one-gallon jugs in, with a few cuts and held up with bungee cords. It works wonderfully. Tropical rainstorms defeat that system though, the bottom drops out. I could paint the box first, then it’d hold up. But that is neither here nor there as to why I haven’t done so. Just the fact is, I COULD put a new box out there once a week. We have enough boxes available at any time for such. It’s the basic “I designed it” but “don’t do the every-day-of-it” so well. My actual design calls for an easier lid for that hen pen, and the box that I use to be painted before installation. As it is, the top is too heavy and I could go on and on … just a different top would make the pen easy to move again and it’d be no problem to do that or to get egg out from the grass. The current top is just a big aggrevation, a piece of thick plywood. It doesn’t blow away with tropical gusts though. πŸ™‚ So I will just say, I need to put a new box out there and just live with it. Replace it when it needs it. I failed myself πŸ˜‰

The brown and green eggs are from the A-frame and that situation is much different. Their egg nest shelf isn’t for eggs anymore. They just sleep up there. They lay in the corners in the grass for some reason suddenly this Spring, instead of the lofty nest area. So I recently pushed a boxed in the area under the loft, and it stays, gets wet from the ground, doesn’t fall apart since it just is sitting on the ground in the first place, and it dries out eventually, the 90% of the eggs are layed in the box now, and the others are just in the corners in the grass, and they are mostly clean, just spot cleanings and they are mostly uncracked, leaving the language open to allow for a crack or two in the past or future. πŸ˜‰

I haven’t “refridgerated” eggs before since they can be used in a few weeks and stored at room temperature just fine. Our house is without A/C this year and last though, so it’s an issue with ickier eggs to keep them for a few weeks. Ickier eggs need to be used right away really, especially without cooler air. 80 degrees F. is not “room temperature” πŸ˜† Because we now have “two” refridgerators I am now starting to put eggs in the old fridge, but I have a lot of eggs left from the end of May as well as June that I need to just give to the cats and dog now. Eggs that are cleaned, if they are white, are not pretty, so I’ve not tried to sell any, or had opportunity to give them away fresh. I would be comfy giving stained eggs to some people, but not most. In any case, my hennies are really not laying THAT much more than I can use. For now I have to just use what I get and get a better nest box situation going for the Leghorns. With that, I’ll post this and go get a box ready. πŸ™‚

Breezy to Gusty

Now that it’s later … it’s now8:30 am … the forecast has changed and it’s about 40-degrees even … instead of the 8-degrees higher it was said to supposed to be about now a couple of hours ago. πŸ˜‰ Weather changes … changes … πŸ™‚

Yesterday the accuweather forecast for Tuesday, today, said that the storm coming through would bring temperatures down so that highs today would be around 49 or lower. It rained most of the night long.

Right now it’s 50-degrees, very breezy, balmy, and the current day forcast says a high of 57 degrees. Hourly outlook has the temperature going down to the high-40’s over the next couple of hours, then climbing up to the high-50’s.

I’ve been outside already, I heard metal roofing flapping around and had to be sure it wasn’t the Leghorns SuperYard roof floating around the yard. That would mean possible white birds getting out and I’m not up to that chase. I mean I’d have to do it, but it’d be so hard. I’m still regaining energy from Sunday’s sickness. [The sound I heard was loose roofing material that was on the ground near the fence to the west. One of them ended up near the deck … so yes, the breezy gust were moving metal roofing around the yard, ‘quite a few feet’.]

Waking up today I do feel better than I did waking up yesterday. That’s a plus!

So it’s a very breezy day. The last few have been pretty breezy with lake wind advisories being released by the weather officials. We don’t have a lake nearby that we traverse upon πŸ˜‰ but a lake wind advisory always means gusty breezyness that we need to make sure the hennie pennie roofs are well weighted down for.

Whoa! We just had a gust roll over the house, the direction it took made the house a wind break for the backyard … that’s good. It was a very powerful gust, the house was rattling. I guess I should trudge out back with some more firewood to put on the SuperYard roof.

Hens, Lights, and ears

Well it’ s rather wet and dreary and chilly again today. Yesterday the hennies gave me a white egg, then three brown eggs, and that was it. Today it was exactly opposite. First a brown egg, then three white eggs, and nothing more so far.

It’s funny to look at the eggs in their prospective cartons side by side. I always store each eggs days in a separate carton, and in the order they were gathered, and I also decide which of a gathered-at-the-same-time came first and second, and so forth, based on the temperature in my hand feeling. So it’s fairly accurate day in and day out, but on slow days, dead on certain. πŸ˜‰

So that’s two days of just 4 eggs total (unless a seemingly-miracle happens in the next couple of hours.) It was only the day before yesterday that we had a nice amount, and the past week has had high counts. I think I have to go back to February 17th to find a 5-egg day.

So I am hoping this can be pinned on the chilly wet dreary weather, somehow.

Otherwise though, I can understand them. I’m rather drugery-minded on days like this too.

Speaking of that, I saw a commercial, really an “infommercial” on TV last week during the night. I had the TV on and had fallen back to sleep, and awoke hearing talk of light, and seeing better, and such things that’d really catch my ears, and did.

What it was: Ott-lites. A Dr. Ott created a different kind of lightbulb due to working on a Disney project many years ago. Lights that actually let plants grow indoors under their light for good results.

These are lights that are good for seeing better in the darker times, seeing true colors, and well, they should be a cheery presence for these drudgery times. I was able to get one this past weekend. We went to Fry’s and found a task-light for my bedside. They, at Fry’s have other models as well.

The lightbulbs are rated for 10,000 hours of use. That is way more than traditional modern lightbulbs. The light is not like flourecent, though it turn on similarly. It doesn’t have a nasty hum. It doesn’t have any real glare, just lots of wonderful light.

One day I hope to have a few standing lamps, Ott Lites.

I’m glad to have my bedroom light and it will become very useful for me if I can train myself to stay awake and read in the early evening again (as I do in non-winter times). As well, with my “insomia” likeness at times, this light will encourage me to be able to read in the middle of the night. Other book lights have only frustrated me. Lamps frustrate me too. I cannot stand to read from overhead lights, as in a fan fixture. So I’ve fallen into a “watch DVD’s or TV” mode for late night non-sleeping times.

I guess part of it is my eyes, aging. I do wear correction for distance, and do alright with close work naturally, but there is strain in bad light. That’s the aging, the irritation with reading in artificial light. The difference being, Ott Lite doesn’t seem to bother me, but I do need to test it out more. I have several books that I’m in the middle of reading, and haven’t really picked one up in several days … last night I did though, and just couldn’t find my “spot” it had gotten lost, so I have to find that spot again!

Oh too, about correction lenses. I used to wear contacts, and in the last few years I stopped wearing them voluntarily and just wore my glasses instead. In the past year plus I try not to wear my glasses unless I need them too, and I started wearing an older pair of glasses happily at that point. So it’s been beneficial for me to stop wearing contacts. One thing contacts did was give me trouble reading. They corrected far vision too well, so much that close vision suffered.

I’ve read of eye correction methods and am sad that I never heard of them in my younger years. But I do what I can in my older ones without the aide of knowlegable ones around me, to just pretty much do what I can in life to train my eyes a bit better.

One trick I have is if I don’t think I’m seeing well, or just took off my glasses, I shut my eyes for a moment or two, then open them being sure, totally certain, to focus on something very near, like look down at the fabric of my dress on the arm or chest, looking at the texture, so that my eyes naturally sharply focus, then gently look away to further things. It works wonders, keeps blurr-shock away πŸ˜‰ for one, but I do believe I am seeing better than I USED to without glasses.

Glasses overall make me feel ill anyhow. They are unnatural and I’m glad to do away with them in most cases of living. Contacts were helpful, but ended up being less helpful as the years went by. Dr.s like to fine tune contacts and that can get you into stronger and stronger prescriptions easily. I’m out of that ratrace, so gladly too!

As I’ve been typing this Victoria came to me with her second loose-tooth getting looser. I told her to go to her Daddy and ask him to check and see if it was ready. He helped her with her first the other day. She was a bit hesitant, so I brought out thecard we’ve been holding for awhile and told her that if she went down to Daddy and he could get it out, then we’d have her ears pierced this weekend.

She proudly ran away, then soonly ran back holding it, prouder than a peacock. πŸ™‚

So’s she has a gap in the front on the bottom, two side-by-side missing. She is now telling me how good it feels to have the loose tooth gone, she doesn’t “have to go in and wiggle it” anymore. I remember how that was. πŸ˜‰

Eggs for Feb 23 2005

Today we have, at this point: 4:57 PM, 8 eggs. Today we got a green egg, yesterday we did not. We got our biggest count yesterday of the year without the contribution of Hawklady. So today she has laid, an additional Leghorn has laid, as well as 5 others as we had yesterday (whether or not these are the same 5 from yesterday, since there are 8 Leghorns, 5 laid yesterday, 6 laid today, do the probability possibilities yourself πŸ˜‰ ). Alas the brownies are the slackers today. Only 2 eggs so far. Yesterday we had 5 brown eggs by this point. As one could see by the numbers, add up todays eggs, and add in the possible other brown layers that we KNOW have laid, I’d have a full dozen today IF they had laid. So we had a white egg late yesterday, will we have one around 5:30PM, or will she hold it over for tomorrow morning? Or is she not going to be an every day layer. Time will tell! πŸ™‚

(See the egg report link on the side bar near the top for the current egg report month, or choose the link at the top of the page for a list of the reports available.)

Eggs for Feb 22 2005

Eggs for 2-22-2005

9:00 AM – 1 Brown
9:15 AM – 1 White
9:30 AM – 2 White
11:40 AM- 3 Brown
PM – 1 White
PM – 1 Brown
4:30 PM – 1 White (freshly just laid!)
Order gotten in:

BWWWBBBWB

Total: 10

4:40pm Update: We have 10 eggs so far today. That’s our HIGHEST count of the year, and we didn’t get a green egg today (we may or may not still get one).

That’s 5 white eggs, and 5 brown eggs. So more than half the leghorns laid again today, and only 1 brown layer and the 1 green layer didn’t lay — that would also mean that, to include the number of Leghorns that didn’t lay, only 3 Leghorns didn’t lay today. Whoooppeeee! πŸ˜€

Eggs for Feb 18 2005

Eggs for 2-18-2005

9:30 AM – 1 Brown, 1 White
11:00 AM – 2 Brown
12:15 PM – 1 Brown
1:30 PM – 1 Brown, 1 White
3:40 PM – 1 White

Total Thus Far: 8

It was cold last night, below freezing for the first time in awhile. The hens are laying fine today though. Yesterday I got a white egg later in the morning than today, and going by the numbers of eggs and times, comparing today to yesterday, that may be a different Leghorn, meaning two different ones laying.

Yesterday Hawklady laid her green egg around right now. So maybe we’ll be seeing one from her in about an hour, or later, or not until tomorrow. I hope it’ll be today soon though, and that she’ll prove to be a great layer, like she has been in the past. πŸ™‚

1:45 PM:

The eggs just gotten were a cooler brown and a warm white one. That is possibly the white egg layer that laid yesterday around 12:30pm. Most likely, that is. πŸ™‚

3:45 PM:

I went out to feed the hens a little snack/early light dinner at 3:30pm and found that there was a Leghorn in that pens nest box. Hmm. We already had two white eggs this day at that point … this hen didn’t have a super read comb, but it doesn’t mean she wouldn’t be the layer. She had the right position of laying as if she was nesting and getting comfy in order to get ready.

So I went back in and asked Victoria if she’d put some grass in that box, since there was some grass in that box. She said she had. It would have been an interesting feat for the hens to have done that πŸ˜‰

So I gave it a few minutes and then went back out. There was a nice very warm white egg in the box.

That means we had 3 white layers today. That’s the most in a day thus far this year.

We also though had 5 brown layers today. This has happened before this month, but I hadn’t considered it fully until today. It means that every so often 5 hens are laying an egg the same day. Brown eggs, and my brown layers number 6 birds. So do the math, one hen isn’t laying yet, or is and they haven’t all laid on one day together.

I have to get my data on paper and look it over, as I’ve done in past years. I love calculating who and what … it’s very INTP I set up a systematic scheme for how it’s going, and that is great to keep going with, until their production hits a lulling snag and I lose intrest πŸ˜‰

So I don’t have perfect records, though I’d love to have such. I need a farm-hand-trainee to take up the drudgery task …” let me do the schematic dreaming and you do the data entry, keeping up with it daily all year long.” πŸ˜‰ I have one of them growing up and probably able to complete the task in the next year or so (Russell will be 9 in April).

Eggs for Feb 17 2005

Eggs for 2-17-2005

9:30 AM – 2 Brown
11:30 AM – 1 White
12:oo PM – 1 Green
1:00 PM – 1 Brown

Total Thus Far: 5

Update: 12:10 PM: I went out to check for eggs and found Hawklady in the A-Frame Nest Box. She was in a laying position, close to actuall dropping her egg it looked. So I shut the door and looked in the “window” of the other door at all the hens. Hawklady stayed in the box, so I opened the nest box door again when I saw her move. Since there is no hay or straw in there, I had a clear view of it. She had her bottom facing the door, and when I looked, I got a front row seat to seeing that egg “crown” and then come out. It was precisely cool!

It’s also a good thing: she laid yesterday, and today. It’s a pattern she hasn’t had as of yet, so she may be getting into the laying a bit more now. πŸ™‚

Frank left for a 2-day trip before sunrise, so I was awake then, and went back to sleep. I didn’t wake up then until right before 9 AM πŸ˜‰

When I got out to the hens there were 2 nice brown eggs in the A-Frame nest box, they weren’t warm, but neither were they as cool as the air. So they weren’t “just laid” nor laid “super early”.

Yesterday afternoon Frank was moving the SuperYard pen by himself, and a Leghorn got out. So he needed my help. Leghorn Catch is a fun game if you keep your humour. πŸ˜‰

We ended up just moving the pen and would get the straggler afterwards. During the move another Leghorn got out (lumpy land is the reason, raise the pen to go over the lump and then boom, hen ducks under on the other side of the lump.)

So Leghorn Catch was doubled, and we eventually got them. Frank caught them each by the tail. He’s a bit more unsure of picking them up, so I have to go in usually and get the bird. To do that I have to distract them so that he can sneak up on them from behind, or if he can do that while they themselves are just naturally distracted. In the past it works to get them caught in a barricade or something that’ll trap them. Otherwise, they run away from any front or side or rear approach. They are very flighty and it’s a wearisome game.

Given another piece of land, we’d not have to catch the Leghorns, but let them free-range. πŸ™‚

Eggs for Feb 16 2005

2-16-2005 Egg Count:

6:00 AM – 1 Brown (the hens and me were up before sunrise and so I got this one nice and warm)
8:00 AM – 2 Brown, 1 Green (1 brown was very warm, the other two were cooling down)
during the PM – 1 White, 2 Brown

Total Thus Far: 7

We’ve had a good start to the day! It’s not foggy today, and the sky is trying to become blue. There are burst of sunshine here and there. The first in days.

We are supposed to get some rain in the afternoon, “they” say. The sky is not blue, just hints of it peeking through the layers of white and gray. These are the low kind of clouds, almost overcast, but not quite that, just sort of. πŸ˜‰

Well the temperature right now, at 8:58 am is supposedly around 57 degrees. I went out early to get that first egg and it was dark, balmy, and comfortable out. The info for this area also says there is “Fog” but there is not where we are. The 24-hour past temperatures read out that at 6 AM it was 55 degrees. Whatever the temperature, conditions, feels-like temp, it was so nice then, really balmy and comfortable. OK so it was probably really cold to some folks. πŸ˜‰ not me though! πŸ˜†

Eggs for Feb 15 2005

2-15-2005 Egg Count:

9:00 AM – 1 White
11:30 AM – 2 Brown (both not warm when gotten)
PM – 1 Brown

Total: 4

I went out to check for eggs at 8am today. We had an egg right before that the day before. I didn’t think there’d be one that early today, not from the same hen, at least, so wasn’t surprised when there was no egg in there then, nor later the next couple of times I checked.

That first checking is when I found a Leghorn in the nest box in the SuperYard. That proved out later to be an egg, when I next checked, but it was probably laid much earlier than 9am then. That’s a different hen than laid the white egg yesterday … of course. πŸ™‚

I was just out and got the first two brown eggs, and when I looked in the SuperYard nest box, there was a Leghorn in there. So another egg will be laid, or has already been maybe, and it could be the same hen from yesterday, but maybe a third hen.

In any case, I took a decent long look at them right then and there, the group, and saw more tinges of red than not. That’s super good news for the SuperYard!

It got foggy last night, well, before night, as night was drawing nigh … and got thicker and thicker. Fog Advisories were released from the weather experts. First until 9am today, then this morning extended until Noon. The fog is still thick, but not as low to the ground as it had been earlier. I’m awaiting the sun coming out today. It’s supposed to get to 72 degrees with some sun. I sure hope so!

I’m sure the hens would appreciate some sun as well. πŸ˜‰

Eggs for Valentine’s Day 2005

2-14-2005 Egg Count:

7:50 AM – 1 Brown (very warm when gotten then, so not a hen that laid yesterday πŸ™‚ )
11:00 AM – 1 Brown (slightly warm when gotten)
12:15 PM – 1 Green (very warm when gotten, and an Australorp on top of it)
1:15 PM – 1 Brown (slightly warm when gotten, and there is a Wyandotte that was sitting next to it, not on it.)
4:00 PM – 2 Brown, 1 White ( none were warm, not cold, I took a nap so got them late)

Total: 7

Update 12:25 PM: When I just got the green egg, at 12:15 PM, there was an Australorp on top of that green egg. I had a time getting her to move off of it! I wasn’t sure there was anything under her, but there was, Hawklady’s green egg. It couldn’t have been laid much earlier than that, it was still damp on three sides from laying. I expect there will be another brown egg out there soon then too. At least one, from that sitting Australorp.

Eggs for Sunday – The Lord’s Day Feb 13 2005

2-13-2005 Egg Count:

9:00 AM – 1 Brown (Australorp freshly laid, “caught in the act” πŸ™‚ )

1:45PM – after arriving home from morning church:

3 Brown, 1 White

Total Thus Far: 5

I’m fairly confident that the hens are all getting into Spring Laying now. It’ll be a slow upward moving trend, but it’s going fine so far. I could be wrong. Some of the Leghorns were laying so well back in January when Hawklady laid one, then two brown eggs were laid. Right then white production seemed to be coming in upward momentum, but then halted just as those colored eggs did.

So here we have at least one Leghorn laying every day, if not it being a couple of them alternating days.

We also have at least 4 of the A-frame brown layers laying at least every other day, if not more of them doing that.

There are 4 Australorps and 2 Wyandottes for a possibility of 6 Brown eggs at the most a day. One green layer in Hawklady (I’m hoping for an egg from her today, she was in the nest box when I checked just a bit ago.) Then there are 8 Leghorns. So all possible layings are 15 eggs a day at most. Since the Leghorns are the older hens, it’s most likely that they won’t be doing every day laying past Spring, so if we are to get a full 15 ever in a day, it’ll be in Springtime most likely. I’m happy with what we are getting for now. It means we have to buy less eggs from that farm we’ve gotten them from lately. That’s a savings of money!

I hope I can get some more pullets though to take the place of the Leghorns this Spring, who will LAY and give me enough to sell to other folks every week or every other week.

Friday’s Fabulous Fowls

2-11-2005 Egg Count:

10:00 AM – 1 green
12:50PM – 2 Brown, 1 White
3:15PM – 1 Brown
Later PM – 1 Brown

Total: 6

I fed the hens this very chilly morning (27 degrees, back down to Winter’s level again πŸ˜‰ ). I opened the nest box door on the A-Frame pen, and was very shocked to see a light egg there, on closer inspection it wasn’t only light, but green and warm. πŸ™‚

Hawklady laid one egg … whenever that was. [I am having ISP problems so I can’t easily look anything up online. πŸ™ ]

A hen in that pen also laid twice, brown eggs, of course. Then no more. No more eggs were laid in that pen, until my discovery of those many eggs yesterday!

The really funny thing is, in the last couple of weeks Hawklady has started molting again. She’s lost a whole bunch of feathers on her neck and partway down her back. She looks scruffy and that was odd, considering she molted over the earlier winter season, seemed fine and looking good … laid an egg, looked good, but then not laying at all, then this mini-big molted thing and looking bad still, no regrowth and yet she lays a lovely green egg today.

I’ll take it. I just hope there will be more soon and often. I miss having green eggs and bacon for breakfast. πŸ™‚

Yesterday when I got the white eggs from the SuperYard I took a good look at the Leghorns, and one stuck out like a sore thumb. All proud with very red wattles and comb. πŸ™‚ So that’s the one that laid the two white eggs, guaranteed. Her “roommates” were all pecky dull looking still.

Who amongst those white girls was laying all those eggs a few weeks ago? I don’t know if this proud lady is one of those, but back then no one was that good looking, as she is now.

Sad thing is it’s this year that the Leghorns will have to be put down, to use a pet term. They aren’t pets. They are pesky hens that lay eggs well, in their prime. They are older now and not worth it in the home flock to keep them going. They’ve had a good life, grass, bugs, grain, and doing their thing. It’s not something I’m looking forward to, but it’s needful in farmlife to do such things. So culling will occur eventually, after Springtime, not before that.

We started our hen ventures with those very hens. 10 White Leghorns in February 2003. That actual date anniversary is later this month, but nearly we have had them for 2 full years. They hatched in October 2002. They are old biddies, by industry standards they are antiques. I have a deal with them, as long as they lay enough eggs, they will live. I’m giving them to Spring to start the clock.

The Wyandottes, they are younger, but older than not. I’m letting them continue on in hopes that we can get another piece of property and they’ll go on it with a rooster πŸ˜‰ :veryshocked:

Same goes for the Australorps.

Of the Wyandottes, one died just in the past couple of months, none before that. So we have 2 real ones, and one tag-along who is Hawklady. They are the “Wyandottes” that I speak of as a group.

The Australorps are the newest hens, one died in August, so out of the original 5 we have 4 left.

As long as they don’t die, they’ll all have a hopeful future with a rooster.

All we need is some land to build a tiny chicken venture on. Not a house for us, necessarily.

12:57pm:

I just got back in from checking the hens for eggs. I had heard big squawking for a minute some time ago, and made a mental note to go check for eggs, but didn’t right then. So I heard it again just a bit ago and went right out. In the A-Frame there was a nice size brown egg sitting alone, one of the mid-dark, not a darker-dark, and near it sat Pointsettia, obviously sitting on an egg, but not looking friendly towards being moved aside. Since this is a newer type of nest box and collection door, I didn’t want to get a nasty peck and kindly left her be. I then went to the Leghorns and there was white egg in there. Then the squawking began in the A-Frame again, and upon arriving back to look in the pen Pointsettia was parading around and was the originator of all the noise. Something had disturbed her, and so she got loud.

That’s the noisiest they get usually, laying an egg is an emotional thing! Peace usually reigns supreme in those that just layed though, once initial emotions are dealt with. Pre-laying through Post-laying is when they are tempted to howl. Pre-laying is the time that is just prior to egg laying, not a very long time at all. So picture a pen of hens, one lays first, she’s the very docile one later, and the rest of then take their turns laying eggs and getting more docile. The ones that are laying are the ones that get upset. When you have molting hens too, they are prone to a bit of a tizzy fit at times, but they aren’t very noisy at it. It’s the laying hens in production that make noise, and most assuredly you can take it as an “I layed an egg” alert. You can’t rest assured on receiving those alerts, they are not sureties. You might get eggs and no alerts. You may get an alert but no egg. But that’s usually indicative that you will get one eventually, if they aren’t in production, the time is getting closer.

Now this isn’t scientific data, it’s only my perceptions of the world in my backyard. πŸ™‚

All that above is about the Australorps/Wyandottes. Throw that info out the window if you are considering Leghorns. They are generally more chitty chatty spatty, and just act different. They usually aren’t very loud, they are just more bitty bickery. The bigger hens have a bigger voice, and use it very seldomly outside of “alert mode”.

So if the alert goes off, and keeps going, I have no choice but to give them some grain. That quiets them down instantly! πŸ™‚

The eggs I just got were all very warm, so layed not long before I got out there. The egg under Pointsettia, which I got after her squawk alert, what that lighter brown type. Most likely it was hers. So she’s been laying. Good girl! I’m glad to be on top of them again, knowing of daily egg layings.

Surprise under A-Frame door

2-10-2005 Egg Count:

Collected in the
PM – 7 Brown
PM -2 White
Total Eggs: 9 (not all from same day)

I’ve had the children feeding the hens the last couple of days, or the last few or more … it’s now Thursday and I can’t quite recall :rolleyes:

In any case I do think it was just a few days ago when I was out there and checked for eggs and helped Russell water the hens … but since I can’t relate it to a particular day, I’m not certain of the last time I checked for eggs. In any case, I just so happened to go out earlier because we have had some wind gusts, so I had to get the Leghorns roof weighted down, it was flapping, being metal roofing that’s not secured permanently. Last time we had big weather of course it was weighted down well, but with Frank gone last week, and the weather nice and mild, I had to remove that stuff to move the pen a bit myself.

So that was earlier today when I went out. But it was so gusty and chilly, therefore, that I went right back in after fixing the top of the SuperYard. Frank went out as I was going in, so I think he rearranged some things. Later I heard more flapping of the roof and saw the configuration of the stuff on top of the pen not satisfactorily placed. I don’t know if it was Frank that moved them, or the wind, but I had to go out and re-do the placing of the things, to keep the top from flapping up and down, which could effectively end up moving the whole roof off the pen, or allow a hen or more to escape.

So I did that, and traversed back to the house, detouring to the A-frame for a bit of shelter from the suddenly more chilly and very gusty wind at that moment. I looked inside at them and they were looking fine, those W’s and A’s. Then I opened the egg nest door, expecting to see poop and nothing else, and the door stuck a bit [it rained yesterday] so when it finally opened I wasn’t looking right in, and so I was more surprised when I finally looked. Seven brown eggs were lying there on the wooden shelf.

Wow!

I cannot tell how long they were there, one for sure looked clean and not as chilled, at least 4 were pretty dirty. So that tells me one or two from today, and maybe some or all from yesterday or the day before … or earlier.

2 of the eggs are fairly dark, the darkest of the group. 2 eggs are very pale brown, the lightest of the group. I can safely say that most likely those are from the same hen, respectively –one light, one dark. So that could be one Australorp, the light, and a Wyandotte, the dark. Maybe.

The 3 remaining eggs look between the other 4 in shading. 2 are nearly the same, the third is close, but not as similar.

So however it is, I know I was looking at the hens some time in the last week and really thinking that some of those hens had super red combs and wattles. But we had no eggs being layed. So now we do. So now I need to go out more frequently and check for eggs, and also come up with a better way to keep straw/hay in that nest box. πŸ™‚

Friday, February 11, 2005 10:15am

After I wrote the above I went back out and checked the Leghorns nest box, it was flipped back so that the enterance was on the top and the flap I open to retrieve the eggs was facing the SuperYard wall. πŸ˜‰ If you know about the sort of box I use for that, you know it’s a cardboard ‘water’ box held up with bungee cords. My very own invention, not the cords, how to use the materials.

So I looked inside it and was pleased to see two eggs amongst the yuck. I say yuck, as those hens also love kicking all the hay/straw out of the nest box. :rolleyes:

This was never a problem in the old days before any of them started to molt for the first time. Grrr.

So anyhow, I righted the box and that’s that. I need to get hay/straw out there still, and in the A-Frame.

Many Things in One Post

This is my “many things in one post” post. Weather, books, hens, wild birds, etc.

The weather has turned mild again. Yesterday it was warm enough not to need a fire upon waking. Last night was warm too. It’s currently in the mid-50’s, and that’s without the sun’s aiding. It’s been mostly cloudy, morelike “light overcast” since sometime during the night.

Accuweather is saying that on Saturday high will be 39 and low will be 37. Rain possible.

Weather Channel on TV is saying there is a BIG chance of an “Ice Stor”m looming far enough South to hit us. Which to believe?

Time will show us. :LOL:

In any case, the last time the hens laid eggs is reported on January 22nd. Nothing has been laid since then. Nothing at all. πŸ™

I have listed the book I’m reading currently in this post. Redwall is a great book, the start of a great series that I only recently have become aquainted with. I found it in Barnes & Noble the other night and Frank let me buy it. I’d heard about it on an email list I’m on. I’m nearly done with it. It’s a large book, easy to read, full of lively colorful characters. I mentioned it on a Forum I frequent, and Kelly there said that it’s a great read-aloud series. I must agree, from just the first couple of pages I was thinking that, and now on page 253 I just think that even more πŸ˜‰

I’m looking forward to finishing it and starting it as a read-aloud to the children. Frank knew that when he said he’d buy the book for me he was getting into a big mudhole that’d reach high over his head. There are quite a few in the series. So the first one I have is in large softback format, my favorite format next to hardback. Most of the other books in this series in B&N were normal paperbacks and hardbacks. Can’t afford brand new hardbacks, but this first one in large format softback was do-able. Frank says that he’ll find the rest in same format … he knows I’m a stickler for “same format” books in a series. πŸ™‚

So then I thought it’d be nice to mention birds here too. I haven’t had much opportunity to spy any nice birds for months. My big binoculars bit the dust. Frank got me a little pair from Eddie Bauer Outlet. Children have confiscated them and I can’t ever find them. They aren’t for very far distance viewing well though.

Our big feeder fell over in a storm in 2004 and is all falling apart, out of commision this whole time. So in 2004 I didn’t really feed any birds. I had Hummingbird feeders out, but gave up on filling them up when I didn’t see any at all all Spring when they had been sighted elsewhere in this region. I only spied one here or there a couple of times. So feeders were out and just dormant and got moldy, but still, no interest in them was really evident ever all 2004. I put my really nice glass feeder out front later in the season, and it dripped empty with no hits at all. So I totally gave up.

2004 was also the nightmare year for animals and birds and me. The Bluebirds laid three clutches and lost all three. One: eggs didn’t hatch. Two: Babies died. Three: Babies died. It was horrible. I’ve written of this and the other deathy things before.

So it goes to say about the Bluebirds that they tried hard, but failed. I’ve seen them about lately, actually one female and two males. They are so beautiful. I missed them around most of the Summer, with them busy with nests (and not super visible then) and then the nestings failing, they sulked off eventually and only have been more noticeable the last few weeks.

Brownheaded Cowbirds weren’t around last year either. Maybe because I didn’t have a seed feeder out. But then, I don’t now and guess who’s lighting in our trees, screeching out their whistlepiercing sounds? Yup, Brownheaded Cow Birds. They sit on the Bluebird Nest Box too and try to mess with it. I do not like those birds. They are not like the Bluebirds, whom are gentle and sweet. Bluebirds stick around if you go on the deck. Cowbirds fly away if you do that. πŸ™‚

Just this last week too then we’ve been innundated with droves of Chipping Sparrows. Unfortunately I can’t ever see them very well, with no binoculars to aide my sight into the yard. They are very diminutive birds. Cute little fellas. I call them all fellas. They all look alike, pretty much, and all look like little guys.

I’ve seen a few Starlings, and they are staying clear of bothering my stuff. They are another kind of bird I don’t like. They might be responsible for some of the Bluebird Failed Nestings.

American Robins have been tottering around the yard too. Won’t be long before they are here in droves, no doubt.

I really want to get a new feeder and install it in a great place in the yard. Hopefully I can do that soon!

I lost many of my hummingbird feeders through neglect and then child destruction fully this past year. I have one remaining, my very pretty red glass arsty flower looking one. It’s gorgeous. I’m happy it’s stayed put happily and safe on the front porch. I left it there all Winter, so far, that is. I really should clean it and refill it, in case there are any Hummers around this Winter. I know they’ve been sighted in other areas in North/Central Georgia. I just don’t stay faithful enough to them to lure them in. πŸ™ I am trying to make myself say I promise to keep it filled and clean this year. I’m trying. I will try, how about that?

But I need to get a few more feeders just for the Hummers themselves. They are such fun birds! So acrobatic around the feeders in mid-Summer. A delight to watch, that is a sure thing. But you must put out feeders for them –to be able to witness these things so well from inside your house.

I went out front to where I have the peonies and iris and pussywillows. The irises are growing new leaves. The Lambs Ear there is starting new growth. The Pussy Willows are starting to plump up a bit, with a few of them unsheated already, too early though. The Peonies last year growth is still there, dry and brown, just winter texture, you know. I leave it there on purpose. I checked beneath them, and sure enough, there is growth occuring there.

This mild weather is hopefully not going to hurt the plants. We had a very mild Autumn and only got cold weather finally near the end of December, and had mostly very warm weather in January. Some cold snaps. Maybe an ice storm finally this coming weekend, maybe not. But I hope that whatever happens with the weather, that we have a wonderful Spring bloom nonetheless. I really want to see the Yoshino Cherry trees is brilliant blossom. 2004 Spring was terrible for them all around the Atlanta area that we saw. Ours did so very poorly. 2003 was a grand season for them everywhere that we saw them. That’s why last year was such a dissapointment.

We have a Dogwood that we need to remove. It died last year. But the other two next to it are still alive, but all have some dead areas, and peeling bark. I fear we must remove them all. πŸ™ Well, our landscaping sort of slacked off the last couple of years. I really am itching to pick it up and do lots of work on it. That take money though. Also my garden is calling me. Frank is letting me order seeds from an heirloom seed company in February. This will be my first time growing everything from seed. I’ll be sure to have a second-season mid-summer planting.

That’s all for now!

Eggs for Jan 23 2005

1-23-2005 Egg Count:

No eggs again today. [None yesterday: Jan 22 πŸ™ ]

Total Eggs: 0

Don’t blame them today. It’s COLD! It was 19 degrees this morning when we finally got out of bed. Too cold to get up early. We were up by 9:30am. Wind chill was 7 degrees. Windy Cold day.

How would you like to be a hen in the yard on a day like that, and be expected to lay an egg? I let them off the hook. JUST for today. πŸ™‚

Older posts

© 2018 Pastoral Farms

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑