Monday, February 06, 2012
If you feed them, they will lay
Any chicken owner knows that THAT is not always true. In fact, in winter no matter how hard you try, egg-laying is cut WAaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy back to basically, non-existent.
Except for us this year, apparently.
When we moved our chickens stopped laying eggs altogether. When a few do-gooders began to lay again, they were laying them in barns or in the field or under trees.... so for two months straight we had no eggs. It got so bad, I had to BUY eggs.
BUYING eggs at the store is very depressing when you are feeding an entire flock of chickens at home, let me tell you.
But for over a month now, our chickens have been making things up to us. We gather about 15 eggs a day, sometimes on a slow day, 10 eggs.
Really, if you look at the ratio of chicken to egg, it ain't a pretty picture (more than half our flock are practically begging to be butchered) but even still, this is a lot of eggs. Worse yet, since our move, we lost our egg customers which means two things:
1) We are swamped with eggs
2) We are paying for their feed all by ourselves. Feed was once entirely paid for by egg sales and now is not-and for a flock full of lazy hens to boot!
We use a dozen eggs every morning for breakfast when they are scrambled. (That is just the children, mind you.) Dippy eggs are about two each. And when we get sick of eating eggs and the children BEG for a cereal day, I make them raw eggnog to drink WITH their cereal. (Don't let the word raw freak you out. It is DE-LICIOUS, just as tasty as storebought though not as thick and extremely healthy without a worry of salmonella since I know and trust the egg source. wink)
And yet, we are still being swamped with eggs.
Thanks to our church congregation who doesn't mind (or at least let on that they mind) all the egg contributions I have been bringing for snack!
One week I hardboiled 2 dozen eggs and made deviled eggs.
One week I hardboiled 3 dozen eggs and made egg salad.
One week I made quadruple batches of homemade pudding and two angel food cakes (they didn't make it to church though) using 16 eggs.
I think next week calls for a crustless quiche. What say ye?
It is a problem, but it is a HAPPY problem.
PS. One day the children gathered a Lilac-colored egg and that was the thrill of the week. I promised to blow it out to save the shell for admiration purposes and then one morning cracked it into scrambled eggs before I realized what I was doing! What a dork I was to ruin a LILAC colored egg! ugh.
PPS. For the curious, we have Golden Wyandotte, Ameraucana, Leghorn, Barred Rock, Australorp, Black Sex Link, Rhode Island Red and Buff Orpingtons all represented in our not-so-little flock. But I think I would really love to add a Copper Maran or two so I could get these lovely little presents every now and again: