Sunday, June 17, 2012

Someone Tell the Chickens It's Spring

If you have chickens, you know what spring brings: prolific egg laying. A happy hen is a laying hen and spring time makes happy girls. With warmer temperatures, sunnier days, and enough inch worms for a football field of hens, our four girls are happy as clams and laying eggs like crazy.

Just as spring began, all four girls would lay an egg every day. Rarely we got only two eggs, some times three, but for the most part we were in full scale production mode. We'd get a dozen eggs in three days time. That's a big difference from the customary one to two eggs a day we'd get through winter.  Who wouldn't be happy with endless beautiful days? Our grass started to grow uncontrollably and apparently there were bugs everywhere because when we let the girls out to forage they became scratching fools - more so than usual. That's one of the things I love about having chickens. Eat the heck out of those bugs, girls. They were hugs fans of the inch worms that took over our yard for about a month, but were never fans of the fuzzy caterpillars. I wouldn't want to eat something covered with fuzz either, so I don't blame them. All the sun and bugs began the most delicious egg season of the year.

Now that spring is fading into summer, the eggs have chilled out a little. We average three every day. With the decline of the inch worm came the decline of four eggs every day. I'm happy with a three-egg day though. We still have a stock pile in the fridge. Those eggs make us pretty popular with our friends and coworkers. They're golden yellow and delicious. Those spring eggs are the best of the season. There's something extra rich, golden and delicious about them. It's the inch worms.

Along with more eggs, we've been having a lot more noise coming from the coop this time around. They are the loudest they've ever been. We can hear them squawking in the house. With our windows and doors closed. At first I thought it was Bossy, our Barred Rock. She's always quite loud after she's laid an egg and she seems to love it best when she can trumpet to the world at 8 am that she's just made something. It can be pretty embarrassing. Lots of times I've found myself standing in the doorway to the backyard listening to her go on for three minutes at the top of her lungs while I think, This is why you need to have chickens in the country and not the middle of the city. We've been lucky though. We have great neighbors who don't mind the occasional BA KOCK! at the break of dawn.

Even though we've been fully launched into summer days of ninety degrees, I'm still waiting for the other thing that spring is supposed to bring: a broody hen. I want to try our hands at hatching some more cuties. But alas. Chickens do what they want.

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