Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Gals Are Back on Their Game

Marshmallow, the deluded hen, is the one wearing the white feathers.

Did you notice the number over on the Egg Count?  The Gals have laid 306 eggs (Give or take a few...it's hard to keep count some days when 3 different Young'uns keep checking for eggs.  Especially when one of the said Young'uns is 2 years old.)  We've had them since March 19th.  So, that's about 2.8 eggs per day.

We used to get about 3.2 eggs per day.  However, about a month ago, the Gals went on strike for some mysterious reason.  We went from getting at least 3 eggs per day to getting zero - bam - all at once.  After ruling out a curious little neighbor gal and aliens, our working theory for the lack of eggs was molting.  However, now that some time has passed and we don't have a group of partially naked chickens running around, we're pretty sure this wasn't the case.  The interruption in egg production seems to be just that - an interruption because things have been pretty much back to normal for about a week or so. 

The weather around the time the Gals stopped laying was uncharacteristically cool and cloudy.  Hens slow down their laying as the days get shorter and cooler.  Could this be it?  Who knows?

We do have one chicken who has been acting strange ever since the strike began.  Her name is Marshmallow.  She's our biggest Gal and laid eggs the size of bowling balls.  OK, not really bowling balls, but they were HUGE!  Marshmallow is still on strike.  We know because we haven't had any massive eggs since June 15th.  She doesn't venture out of the coop much, but prefers to spend her days sitting on the eggs the other Gals lay.  She's still eating and has bright eyes and comb, so our best guess is that she's "brooding."  A hen who is brooding sits on her eggs in order to keep them warm so they'll hatch.

Ummmm, poor Marshmallow!  We may have to have a little chat about the birds and the bees with her...there are no roosters here on the Farm.

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