Sunday, September 25
Filling Out and Slowing Down
The ladies are going through a stage. I have a feeling it is the drastic slow down in egg production that we did not have last fall/winter. They are visibly fatter and fuller in their feathers, except for about 6 hens who look to be in moulting stages. according to my books, while hens are molting, their egg production goes down and that molting occurs late summer or early fall and can last anywhere from 14-16 weeks. So this theory of moulting over spent layer makes sense.
We used to get about 15 eggs per day from 18 hens. Now we are getting about 8 per day from 17 hens and I wish I could tell for sure who was laying and who was not.
"Excuse me, ladies, would it be asking too much if you could scratch your initials in your eggs so i knew who was eating the food and not producing?" I do not think I have any spent layers since my oldest ladies are only about 2 years old and they have not been through two full molts yet.
So the question still hangs in my mind, what to do when someone stops laying permanently? Using the "about 3 years old/3 moults" theory, i will have two ladies that will be eating food but not producing in another year. And that leaves another 15 hens that will eventually stop laying also. At that point, since I could never cull the herd so to speak, i think I will be running a retirement home for spent layers.