By Audrey Pavia, Urban Farm contributor
Monday, April 9, 2012
Photo by Audrey Pavia
My little bantam chickens finally laid some Easter eggs!
A few months ago, I wrote about how my little bantams had stopped laying eggs. I was torn over whether to add more chickens to my flock, or just keep the ones I have as unproductive pets.
Today, I had to wonder no more. When I went out to the coop to let them out this morning, I found two perfect eggs in the nest box. They were white, which means they were laid by one or two of my older hens (my youngest hen lays brown eggs). So it seems as though my hens have slowed their production and no longer lay during the winter like they used to, but they are still raring to go in the spring.
In retrospect, I shouldn't have been surprised to find those eggs. The behavior of my flock should have been an indicator that eggs were on the horizon. For the past few weeks, Mr. Mabel has been chasing the hens all over the yard looking for love. Or should I say, demanding it. He doesn't take no for an answer.
Mr. Molly has tried to get some action too. As usual, he fails. Before he has a chance to do anything,he meets with the wrath of Mr. Mabel.
All these antics indicate that the hens are fertile, and the roosters know it. And if the hens are fertile, it means they are going to lay.
I'm relieved I don't have to make a decision yet about whether to add younger hens to my flock. The whole idea of having to integrate new chickens in to the group is a bit daunting for me. I know I will have to stand by and watch the newcomers get bullied, and even though I know it's just the chicken way, it gives me flashbacks to junior high.
Although the three small girls I have don't exactly lay enough to keep a family fed, they give me enough to make an omelet once a week. And for now, that's good enough.
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