A Support Thread For Those Of Us Living In An Egg-Free Zone

Teila

Bambrook Bantams
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
16,612
26,048
1,026
Forrest Beach, FNQ, Australia
As I was looking at my Egg Spreadsheet and counting up the days since we last had an egg laid at Bambrook Bantams, I was thinking it would be fun to have a Support Thread for those of us living in an Egg-Free Zone.

I have seen the 'How Many Eggs Did You Get Today' thread but couldn't bring myself to type '0' for 46 days in a row!

Hopefully we can cheer each other on and celebrate when one of us breaks the drought.

So, how many days, weeks, months have you been egg free and why?

We have been egg free for 46 days because I was silly enough to fall in love with chickens that spend more time broody than they actually do laying eggs.

One of my gals went broody, I gave her some eggs and she is still being mumma to her two 8 weeks old chicks. She has not laid for 83 days.
Another of my gals went through a hard moult, she has not laid for 78 days.
One was broody and is now moulting, she has not laid for 69 days.
My little Frizzle was the only one laying an egg for a while there but she also decided to go broody and then moult, she has not laid for 46 days.

The race is on to see who breaks the drought .. at this stage, my money is on one of the two 8 week olds being the first to lay .. that means I only have approximately 3 more months to wait before seeing an egg that I did not have to buy at the supermarket
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The eggs being purchased at the supermarket are to scramble and feed to the chickens .. yes, I see the irony
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XxMingirlxX

Songster
6 Years
Dec 12, 2013
1,979
222
216
Lancashire, England
What a great idea for a thread, I understand your pain; in autumn my exbattery quit laying at three years old, my white leghorn was molting and I had gotten two new point of lay pullets who proceeded to not lay until they were nearly a year old.....

There were no eggs for about two-three months, fortunately now I get two a day. :)
 
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SNJchickens

Songster
7 Years
Dec 6, 2012
130
52
121
Southern New Jersey USA
My Coop
My Coop
I have 6 backyard hens here in New Jersey. My hens stopped laying completely last October apparently when the days got shorter. For months I fed, cleaned and worried. I couldn't find a single thing wrong. The girls were getting a good diet, extra greens and daily treat (but not too much treat.) Because I believe in letting the hens have their natural cycle I do not put a light in my coop.

On New Year's Day we got our first egg as the girls started laying again. In January we were presented with 0 to 3 eggs per week. Slowly the number of eggs increased until this April when production went into high gear.

My youngest hen is 1 year old, 1 is 2 years old and the other 4 are 3 years old.

I admit to changing feeds in early April. My hens seem to be thriving on the new feed. I'm getting 5 - 6 eggs per day which is more than the hens were laying as Spring chickens!!

My coop is written up on https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/southern-new-jersey-cluckingham-palace
 
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Teila

Bambrook Bantams
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
16,612
26,048
1,026
Forrest Beach, FNQ, Australia
Thank you both
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I have been telling myself for 46 days “it is OK, you will not be alone” and logged on this morning thinking that if I have had no replies, maybe I am alone .. how depressing
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We actually do not eat a lot of eggs and what they do lay usually get scrambled and fed back to them and also shared with the neighbours.

Luckily I am not in this for the eggs, I just love my gals and having them around. Having said that, I do like the little thank you’s they occasionally leave in the nest box.

My friends and neighbours are still giving me empty egg boxes. I have over 30 egg boxes in the garden shed ..

In 2 months we got 16 eggs, at that rate it would take 45 months or 3.75 years to fill them!

At the current rate of 0 eggs .. the plan is to get a bigger garden shed to store the boxes
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SNJchickens your coop and hens are beautiful!

Will today be the day the drought breaks
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SNJchickens

Songster
7 Years
Dec 6, 2012
130
52
121
Southern New Jersey USA
My Coop
My Coop
Keep the faith! For me all six hens stopped laying for 3 months. That is NINETY days during which time I had to buy "grocery store" eggs!! After much worry, quite a lot of research and constant TLC it seems that the natural cycle for my hens in New Jersey is to rest for the early part of the winter (from molt to New Year's Day.) During this period of eggless days I went over every aspect of care, bought feather grower feed and wrote a journal full of observations, concerns and theories. I went so far as to worry about the timing of the change to the new coop! All to no avail. When the girls were ready they began to lay again, probably laughing at my stress.

We do eat the eggs but currently there are plenty to share with the neighbors. In fact, I could use those extra egg boxes. Particularly popular in March (Dr. Seuss' birthday) is my hen named Maya who lays green eggs. I try to have enough green eggs for the children in the neighborhood to have green eggs and ham. Generally, I feed back shells and a few hard cooked, crushed eggs mixed with mealworms.

Laughing at your timeline to fill the current stash of egg boxes. My DH once calculated the cost of each egg as he gently teased me about "that first $500 egg."

My joy is in the chickens not the eggs. The girls' personalities are wonderful. If I am upset Emma Jean, a Rhode Island Red, will come and sit on my lap. Pumpkin, a Cochin, goes broody and is lovely to watch if I purchase chicks for her to raise (yes, with no rooster I have to buy chicks for her.) The girls free range when I am out in the yard to keep them safe from the hawks. They come to see what I am doing periodically during their play time. Elsbeth, a Spangled Hamburg, has to make certain that whatever it is that I am doing is done RIGHT. She has a habit of sitting on the roost softly clucking (approval? missed a spot? good job?) when I'm cleaning the coop. Spice, a hen of uncertain lineage, is the guard hen. Maya, an Araucana, always thinks the sky is falling which is understandable because she was grabbed (and dropped) by a hawk when she was a pullet. Priscilla, Elsbeth's twin, likes to pretend she is aloof until I dig up a grub or worm in the garden.

I hope you will let us know when that egg arrives to break the drought. Meantime, just enjoy your sweet hens.
 

Teila

Bambrook Bantams
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
16,612
26,048
1,026
Forrest Beach, FNQ, Australia
Thank you SNJchickens

Don’t those grocery store eggs pale in comparison to the home grown ones!

I am used to scrambled eggs being yellow; not white. I buy them the most expensive free range eggs and they still have nowhere near the beautiful coloured yolks I get from my gals.

I know that it is timing with my gals, what with broodiness, moulting and our just coming into the season of less daylight hours.

Lols at your $500 egg.

Yep, definitely in this for the joy .. no matter how bad my day has been, my gals are guaranteed to put a smile on my face when I walk out the back door.

Cilla, my bantam Cochin, currently has two 8 weeks old chicks … I bought her some fertile eggs (no roosters allowed here) and yep, watching her with her bubs is beautiful.

Dusty, bantam Langshan is the whinger of the flock .. even at 6am her day has not started well and ask her in the afternoon how she is going and she has no qualms in telling you that it did not improve. Apparently meal worms do help
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Blondie is the Diva of the flock and LuLu, the Frizzle, is the clown.

For sure I will let everyone know when the drought is broken and intend to keep a record of how much longer it continues.

I have a feeling my post tomorrow morning will be .. “47 days!”
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SNJchickens

Songster
7 Years
Dec 6, 2012
130
52
121
Southern New Jersey USA
My Coop
My Coop
Sounds like you have a well rounded flock.

I believe you a perfectly correct that your hens need their natural vacation from laying. Many people here put lights in their coops to keep egg production going but I don't think this is good for the hens in the long run. When I visit and mentally compare my hens to theirs I can see a significant difference in attitude. That sounds ridiculous, I know, but my girls are perky, buff and fit which is evident in their strut, their eyes and in their general demeanor. There is nothing wrong with the other hens. They are well fed and cared for, but they are missing that intangible "something" that hens allowed to rest display unawares.

Grocery store eggs, even the free range or Omega 3 eggs, have little or no flavor. I've had neighbors tell me they don't like my hens' eggs because they "taste too strong." (Another neighbor won't eat my eggs because they "come out of a chicken's butt", however we won't go into that here.)

When my Pumpkin is raising chicks she doesn't lay until well after she starts sending the babies out on their own to forage. At that point the babies are 3 month old or a bit older. When I first let her raise chicks I learned an entire chicken language. It was fascinating. After a few weeks I could tell what was going on and what she was telling the chicks. Non-chicken people think I'm crazy.

What will you do if one or both of your chicks are roosters? I bought my chicks from a local farmer who agreed to take back any roosters. This was a good deal for her because she'd get back a 5 month old chicken in excellent health. It was a good deal for me because I needn't worry about finding a home for a rooster.

When it comes to laying, Pumpkin, Emma Jean and Spice have to announce to the world that they have just done a wonderful thing. Spice goes one better and announces loudly that "I'm going to lay an egg" and "I'm going to lay an egg NOW!" before she repairs to the nest box. Once the deed is done each of the three will continue announcing until I go out to collect the egg and thank the HIQ (hen in question) for such a wonder. Non-chicken people think I'm crazy. (See the pattern here?)

What did the nest box hold this morning?
 

Teila

Bambrook Bantams
6 Years
Apr 15, 2013
16,612
26,048
1,026
Forrest Beach, FNQ, Australia
47 Days
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Tee hee SNJchickens we are not crazy; people who do not own chickens are crazy
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Lols at your neighbour
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At 8 weeks, I am fairly confident that KiKi and Crystal are girls. They both have small, pale combs and no wattles. Cilla hatched five and the 3 obvious boys were found homes at 6 weeks.

KiKi:



Crystal:
 

cluckcluckluke

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 10, 2012
8,341
318
356
The Foothills Of Chickendom
Hi Teila
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Yes, it too has been a long time since I have seen an egg around. Even had to go over to the neighbours place yesterday and borrow some for a cake, and here I am with 15 lazy chickens while they only have 4.
The problem with mine is they are all only just coming into POL, right in the front of Winter...so I doubt there will be any egg movement for possibly another 2 months.
 

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