Eggs!

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Every chicken keeper knows that spring is truly here when the hens start laying eggs like mad! It doesn’t matter if you have 3 hens or 300, when you start getting about an egg a day from all the gals, you know that the stark days of winter are over.  We are currently getting almost three dozen eggs from six laying hens a week. I can tell you that pulling those brown orbs out of the nest boxes never gets old and we feel like the richest folks on Cedar Street!

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Dottie, a Silver-Laced Wyandotte, tends to be the first one on the nest in the early mornings.

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Mitzy, a Dominique hen, is going about her almost daily egg laying.

Our hens do not lay every single day. Each one lays what is known as a “clutch.” A hen will start laying early one morning and then lay a little later each day after that until she’s laid 5 or 6 days in a row this time of year. A good layer will then take one day off and begin again early the next morning. In the mid summer, when the days are long, a hen might lay 7 days or more before taking a day off.  Our oldest hens–Trudy and Hilda–are laying less now that they are in their third year of laying. They lay about two days on and one day off. Now that they’ve been through a couple molts, however, their eggs are larger than they were when they were newbies.

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Hilda, a Buff Orpington, and the bossy chief of our flock, is still laying, but not quite as often as the last couple years.

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