Room and board in exchange for eggs. That was the agreement when we brought these hens home. Sure, there’s no contract on file, but a verbal agreement should be honored.
We assume that it’s the older girls who’ve stopped producing, but the young gals could be shirking their duty. We have to be sure before winter sets in.
They know what’s coming.
They sense it in the way I talk to them and look at them.
They think that I won’t be able to tell who is laying and who isn’t.
But they’re wrong.
I have a plan.
I’m going to identify which hens are laying by a simple process of elimination.
There are many chicken keepers who determine this in different ways, but they all seem to agree that one method is the most accurate.
This method is not appealing. At all.
This method is kind of gross.
This method is really our only choice if we want absolute accuracy.
In other words, checking out their butts.
The Homesteading Hippy describes in detail how to examine the butt, legs, belly and comb.
Dull and floppy combs, bright yellow legs, hard and firm abdomens and dry and tight “vents” are all signs that the hen is no longer providing eggs.
Feed intake dramatically increases in the winter because they don’t have fresh weeds, grass and bugs to supplement their diet. The increase in consumption means an increase in expense for us.
So, it is time to cull the flock and fill the freezer.
We’ll have fewer eggs, but we’ll have homegrown organic chickens to roast, fry, bake and enjoy.
Fare the well ladies
You’ve worked so hard for us
Providing compost and eggs
The meat you’ll supply is a plus