December 16, 2013
The only things left to harvest until we start the greenhouses are carrots. I wanted to cover the main garden with chicken manure so it could break down all winter & be ready for spring planting. The only thing left in the main garden were carrots. Though they were not completely ready, I went ahead and pulled the row & had the girls clean them while I scooped poop 🙂
(Wood shavings & poop. Looks more like wood shavings but I promise, there was PLENTY of poop in there! Most of that is from the the table under their roost, which catches most of the poop in the coop.)
At Thanksgiving, we had so many eggs, I had to set some aside to ‘age’ so I could make deviled eggs. Now, less than a month later, I am having to go to the grocery store and BUY eggs! I am so frustrated and perplexed! Out of my 20 chickens, we didn’t get out first eggs until they were 27.5 weeks old! They never (as a whole) laid more than 10 or so a day and a week & a half ago, they started laying only 3/day. I realize daylight hours are less but I thought the first year they were supposed to lay throughout the winter!
As soon as it became Fall, the chickens started getting out of their tunnel. Egg production dropped because we could not find them. After a month or so, we decided to make them stay in the run, which has plenty of room but no grass (lots of room to forage though). It is partially in the woods. Some were still flying out when egg production dropped from 10 to 3 eggs/day so we clipped some wings. Now, no chickens are getting out, they are getting plenty of feed, plenty of water, plenty of exercise…and still 3 eggs/day.
My reaction: NOT impressed with these breeds. However, I have heard nothing but wonderful things about these breeds which makes me think it must be something we’re doing…I just can’t figure out what! They look healthy & happy…idk what to do!
We got the Orpingtons & Australorps because they are docile (we have lots of kids so that was important) and they are (supposed to be) good layers. I am thinking of maybe not worrying so much about the docility next time and just going with ‘good layers’. Am I being naive? What do you think?
Go check out what others are harvesting from their winter gardens at Daphne’s Dandelions and please comment if you have any chicken experience/insight! 🙂