Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Dose of Cute: Egg Layers, the Next Generation


Hello, Girls! It's So Very Nice to See You

Hallelujah! Six of the eight baby chicks born back in April turned out to be hens! They should start laying soon, which will then more than double our current egg output. Usually our hen to rooster hatching ratio is the other way around (and we really only need one Rooster Daddy on the farm), but this time the egg-laying odds were definitely in our favor. Maybe it was all that pizza.

Want to see more chick pics? (some categories overlap)
Chicken Photos & Stories
More Chicken Photos
And Yet More Chicken Photos
Baby Chick Photos
Baby Chicks 2008
Baby Chicks 2009

© Copyright FarmgirlFare.com, the fine feathered feminine foodie farm blog where grown up chickens are still considered cute, right? And if they're not, then you can break the news to Whitey, who, at nearly 10 years old, now has her eye on making it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the Oldest Living Chicken. She and her attitude are doing just fine, and she definitely still considers herself cute (she just hasn't posed for any photos—or had any more longings for motherhood—lately).

15 comments:

  1. Lovely girls! My hen "Red", is 9 1/2 years old. She no longer lays eggs, but is still feisty.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those girls are gorgeous! Now I want a chicken (actually I have always thought chickens were beautiful.) I guess I am going to have to move to a farm. (I wish!)

    I think you've discovered the secret ingredient of pizza! Chicken farmers REJOICE!!! What will you do with all the eggs?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, I was wondering about Whitey! The new girls are very beautiful and looking very happy.
    Thanks for stopping in at Ms Graysea over the weekend and some pats to DDD. He's still my all time favorite.

    ReplyDelete
  4. While browsing a couple of older Whitey pictures, I notice that you use both hog wire and chicken wire for your hens. We are thinking about starting our own flock, and looking for tips. Does the combination of fencing make a difference? I assume it must or it wouldn't be worth the trouble. Also, do you have a favorite breed for laying hens? I used to buy beautiful huge brown eggs from my neighbor but she stopped selling - bummer! And even the "natural" eggs from the store are nasty compared to home-produced. Thanks in advance for the tip!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I miss Whitey. These girls are looking great. Here's to a lifetime of fresh eggs.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Re: laying soon... I'm a novice chicken-keeper and my girls just stopped laying for the season, as far as I can tell. Do you get many eggs in winter?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have chicken lust. The past year or so I've longed to get a couple. Unfortunately, I live on a 60x100 foot lot and I don't think my neighbors would like it. ;) Maybe if I bribed them with eggs. hmmm...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh be still my beating chicken loven heart, they are beautiful. Good news that you have new hens.
    Chicken loves always need more. Pizza, who knew. I was just thinking about Whitey this weekend. I saw a feisty chicken about her color and it made me smile and think of her. Glad to hear she's been doing well and keeping all the others in line. She's a modern chicken you know. It isn't necessary to only have kids and slave over a hot nest box. Sometimes a mere presence is enough :) Mary W said it well Chicken Lust definatly.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Looks like you might have a couple of green-egg layers in that bunch? The oldest hen I ever had was half Silkie, a little dear named Michelle. Her last 2 winters we brought her in every night (that's in OUR house) and she slept in a cat carrier by the wood stove. She lived quite happily to be 14.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Everybody,
    Thanks for all the comments. I love hearing about other older hens - and it sounds like I definitely need to talk Whitey into posing for some new pictures. She really does crack me up. Littlest chicken out there - biggest attitude. : )


    Hi Barb,
    Between eating and baking, we got through a fair amount of eggs. And I feed lots of raw eggs to the dogs, especially Daisy and Marta - they're a great source of protein, and I'm convinced they're why Bear's coat is so beautiful (it certainly isn't because we bathe him!).

    The other thing is, the eggs we get now are on the small side, so they go pretty quickly - I can easily eat four scrambled eggs for breakfast. : )

    Hi Zona,
    We used both welded wire and chicken wire over the cattle panels when we built this chicken run that's attached to one of the coops because that was what we had on hand. Basically you want to make it as difficult as possible for predators to get in (or chickens to get out).

    It's amazing what a determined animal can fit through. Robin, our 24-pound beagle can easily go through a square in a cattle panel, and I've seen Daisy - who probably weighs 100 pounds - crawl under a strand of barbed wire just inches off the ground (with 9 more strands above it).

    As for breeds, I don't have any particular favorites, but I only bought chickens (and chose the breeds) once, back in 2001. The chicks that keep hatching out now are mixed breeds, all originating from the fertile eggs a friend brought Whitey when she went broody back in 2007.

    I do know that a lot of the larger breeds of 'layers' (as opposed to meat breeds) lay bigger eggs. I had some Buff Orphingtons (I might be spelling that wrong) in that original flock and they laid some nice big brown eggs.

    I don't mind the smaller eggs so much except for the fact that it gets a little confusing when I'm baking. I have recipes I want to share but they say things like 'two small eggs or one REALLY big one' because I also buy duck eggs from a neighbor. Half the time when recipe calls for two large eggs I end up looking for the smallest chicken egg and using a big duck egg with it. Ah, the complicated simple country life, LOL. : )

    Best of luck with your new flock!

    Hi Mara,
    Congratulations on becoming a chicken farmer! : ) Chickens can stop laying eggs for various reasons (something as simple as getting scared during a big storm can put them off their schedule), but in general they do slow down production in the winter, and that's because of the shorter days.

    Hens require something like 14 hours of daylight in order to lay eggs, so what we do is put a light bulb on a timer in each coop that goes on very early in the morning. That keeps the chickens laying pretty regularly through the winter. We hang the light over their waterer, and when it starts to get really cold, we change out the regular 40 watt bulb for a 250-watt heat lamp bulb, which helps keep the water from freezing as much.

    Hi Mary W,
    Haven't you heard? Urban backyard chicken keeping is all the rage these days! I say go for it - but just remember, no roosters.

    And I've read about more than one city chicken farmer who kept their neighbors happy with fresh egg bribes. : )

    Hey Andylynne,
    It's great to hear from you. And thanks for the laugh.

    Hi Jan,
    LOL a chicken sleeping in the house in a cat carrier sounds like something I would do!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I can't wait to get some chickens myself. I am anxiously awaiting spring to go get some day old chicks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. hey Susan...isn't it great to play "spot the hens"? We had a nine chick hatching with 2 fatalities and are at the 4 hens to 3 roosters...problem is even the roosters are cute little dickens...except when they get bigger...I just posted a story of roosters gone berserk on my farmlass blog the other day. And not to forget our hens, I also paid tribute to their lovely eggs! Cheers...

    ReplyDelete
  13. THATS A REALLY GORGEOUS PHOTOGRAPH OF THOSE LUCKY HENS!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I work at a family owned Temecula winery and we love your blog in the office. I have a couple of hens that just started laying and I have so many eggs I need to bring them to work to share. Their rears are bare. Do you know what could be causing that? Anyway, if you're ever out this way we would love to invite you for some Temecula wine tasting. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Suzanne,
    Sorry about the delayed reply - and thanks for the invite! You never know, someday we might actually take a real vacation - and I sure miss all the wine tasting I used to do when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area. ; )

    As for your bare hens (congrats on your new homegrown egg supply!), it sounds like they are probably molting - also spelled moulting. It's a totally natural thing and nothing to worry about. The most important thing is to make sure your chickens eat really well during this time, as it takes a lot of energy to grow new feathers. You can read more about molting here and here.

    ReplyDelete

January 2013 update: I know word verification is a big pain, but it's the only way I can stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I get every day. I don't want to require commenters to be registered Blogger or Open ID users because I know many of you aren't. Thanks so much for your understanding!

Hi! Thanks for visiting Farmgirl Fare and taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love hearing about your experiences with my recipes. Comments on older posts are always welcome!

Please note that I moderate comments, so if I'm away from the computer it may be a while before yours appears.

I try my best to answer all questions, though sometimes it takes me a few days. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

If you're waiting for a reply to your comment and have a Blogger profile (it's free to create one) you can check the NOTIFY ME box that is below and receive all follow up comments to just this specific post via email.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy your e-visits to our farm!