Friday, October 23, 2009

The chicken strike

Anyone who has followed this blog understands breakfast is a very important and a well regarded meal 'round here especially on Sundays. But lets talk the everyday grind. Aside from last week when I was under the weather, I usually cook us up a fairly big lumber jack like breakfast. Maybe potatoes, maybe bagels maybe eggplant but whatever it is it always comes with three to four eggs. Perhaps fried, or scrambled, poached or basted ( I was once a breakfast cook many many moons ago). That might seem like a lot but its got to hold us over for a while and we need as much energy as we can muster, but more than that they are just the best eggs I have ever my life!

Last I counted we had 49 hens, all about a year and a half old. They were laying real good this summer and I had plenty of eggs for breakfast and enough for my CSA members and farmer's market customers. But, after the move egg production just about came to a screeching halt. 49 hens were producing one to three eggs a day. Yea! how am I gonna survive.
Today..... I ate an English muffin, topped with chopped onions, bacon and TWO yes TWO fried eggs! Ahhgh!!!! (me flailing on the floor).

I asked my self all the logical questions; Is a snake eating them? is it because they are molting? (loosing and growing new feathers) are they not getting enough protein? Are they afraid? Chickens will stop laying if they feel threatened, they figure the chick will be too vulnerable. (tell me a chicken is stupid and I'll show you someone who knows not much about chickens).
Back to the questions: Is their house too bright? are the nesting boxes too exposed? Do they hate it here?

WHY! Why chickens? why no eggs????

By the looks of them they are healthy and full figured. They get lots of whey from cheese making and they eat the cheese mistakes. They always seem excited to see me.

There is one thing I can try and that is extend the daylight hours. So I'll put a light in the hen house. I've read this works. It tricks the hens into believing its NOT time for bed, its time to get busy! OK, OK, I know what your probably thinking, that's something stupid those chickens do. But I've seen some pretty smart people get tricked into believing more preposterous things than that! (enter, talking snake just for starters). So this doesn't make them any less intelligent than the next chicken just slightly delusional. So I've got a few tricks up my sleeve.

Operation Egglay!

1) light, I'll turn if off round 9pm, Don't want them sleep deprived either!
2) put the door on and close the windows making it a little less exposed and a little darker.
3) ah....hmm, look for snake tracks.
4) put a ipod in the hen house to play that cute chicken song, whats that called? you know: dun nu nunununu nu. nu nu nunununu nu. You know it right?

So, we'll see if these things work. Its important to me that the girls are happy. I know they don't care for the rain, I sympathise with them completely.

I hope they know how much I love them!


Delphyne said...

Maybe it is the move and the increasing natural darkness. I don't have chickens, but I have a parrot and watch her during the time changes. She sleeps a lot during this time, but as the leaves begin falling and more of the Autumn light shines through the trees into her cage, she begins her lusty season!

Hopefully the light will help them; I'm sure the chicken song will cement in their minds that you love them!

Delphyne said...

Oh, I forgot in my other comment - the link to your FB page on the living kitchen site only brings one back to your blog. Do you have a FB and how do I become a fan?

Lisa said...

Delphyne, to become a fan of LK go to;
and click become a fan.
Yippee thanks!

Lisa said...

three eggs today:(
I did learn the chicken dance and I will dance for them I will.