Esme lays an egg

Two small eggs from Esme and two large ones from Aliss

Two small eggs from Esme and two large ones from Aliss

If you have been reading this blog for more than a couple of months, you may remember me describing Esme’s big moult back in the autumn and the effort that she was putting into growing new feathers. That was back near the beginning of November and since then she has not laid a single egg – rare for Esme as she has been one of our most reliable layers. However, I’m pleased to say that egg production has resumed – she laid her first on Saturday and another this morning. Perhaps spring is in the air!

Clockwise from top left: Lorna, Aliss, Esme, Perdy

Clockwise from top left: Lorna, Aliss, Esme, Perdy

Esme is four years old and we did wonder whether she would lay again, but over the past month she has plumped up and is looking very healthy, so it’s good to know that she is making a contribution again. Sadly, Perdy (only two years old) is not bothering, but is looking very healthy now, so hopefully we’ll have some eggs from her soon too. Lorna, on the other hand is our slug-hunter extraordinaire, but hasn’t laid an egg since last June (and then there was only one in the whole month).

So, if your hens stop laying, don’t despair, it’s not necessarily the end of production.

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16 Comments

  1. I think I must have been very lucky, my girls never went off the lay all at the same time, so I never had to buy eggs the whole time I had them. I sort of lost heart after the fox decimate my little flock for the second time. Introduced bloody vermin! There’s nothing native in that particular ecological niche to fight back, so foxes do very well in Australia.

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  2. The eggs are beautiful! Yay for Esme! 😀

    Okay, this isn’t exactly to do with what your post was about, but I’m hoping for a bit of advice from someone who knows what they speak of. 🙂 I would like to get some chickens in the spring, but I’ve never had them before, so I’m not really sure where to start…can you suggest a good book or resource for beginners? (I’m also a little worried about them getting mixed up with the neighbor’s chickens who wander our yard…we’re okay with that, we just don’t want our chickens to get all confused.) 😀

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    • Do you want them just for eggs?
      Here in the UK lots of people take on rescue hens – ex-battery chickens that would otherwise be killed, but I chose to buy from a small, local breeder so that our hens would be healthy and well-adjusted! I chose hybrid layers; currently we have a Black Rock, a Calder Ranger and two Speckledies. Chickens will fight to establish a pecking order, so there is likely to be some argy-bargy between your flock and the next door one. You will need to confine them for a bit to begin with so they learn where they live and they will start to get used to the neighbours if they can see them during this time.
      I have never found a good definitive book, but there are lots of fantastic on-line resources. I like the chicken pages on http://www.downthelane.net/index.php

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      • Yep, we’re just after eggs. Well, that, and having chickens around because we think they’re nifty. (Though, I admit, I am also a little afraid of them, so I need really nice, docile chickens.) Thanks for the advice about keeping them confined at first…and the link! 😀

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  3. The last of my chickens went to the great hen house in the sky just before Christmas, and it wasn’t until they were gone that I realised how much I would miss them! We’d been keeping a hybrid variety who were exceptionally aggressive to newcomers, so when numbers reduced through natural wastage and the remainder went off lay it seemed sensible to start again with a new batch. But then the foul foul weather hit and keeping the animals warm and dry became a bit of a challenge, so I’m quite glad that I had prevaricated. Something to look forward to when the weather improves! I miss my little compost turners!

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  4. There’s nothing nicer than a freshly laid egg, is there? 🙂

    I think that’s one of the reasons I miss not having chickens now – although it was the personalities that we came to know and love that I miss the most, and we still speak fondly of our own Esme, who helped to hatch a goose, and wouldn’t leave his side, even after he was grown. In fact, when we had to move, we found him a new home, and Esme was quite happy to leave us, as long as she could be with him! Lol

    Chickens are so full of character, aren’t they? 🙂

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  5. I am a BIG fan of chooks, as we call them in Australia!. We’ve had them for 4-5 years and usually keep a variety – Isa Browns, which we rescue from a battery farm (excellent layers), as well as rear them from day old chicks – black, white and Rhode Island Reds.
    I love everything about hens – the eggs of course, the fertilizer for the garden, their quirky, individual personalities and the way they make me feel like an urban farmer! 🙂

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  6. Ah there is nothing more exciting than when a layer comes back on line, fingers crossed for the rest as the weather heats up a bit, I know that can put them off their game.

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  7. Perhaps it is her new floor that has encouraged her? 🙂

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