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Motor City Homestead » Blog Archive » 5 Eggs Yesterday

5 Eggs Yesterday

Only one hen isn’t laying - our Buff Orpington.  And she eats the most, too.  I’ve been threatening her with the stewpot, but without much success.  Getting eggs every day is so much fun (I know, I’m a dork).  But peaking in the nest box and seeing eggs feels like a little bit of magic every morning.  And the kids beg to check for eggs in the morning.

The other thing I’ve noticed about eggs every morning, is that it changes they way I think about food.  Traditionally, we shop for groceries once a week.  On that day, the cupboards and fridge are bursting with food, and by the end of the week, all that’s left is a scrap of bread and some condiments.   So my typical thought is “If we’re getting low on food, we need to conserve / go shopping”  Eggs are totally different.  The number of eggs in the fridge has absolutely nothing to do with how many eggs we actually have.  They are just potential eggs instead of actual.  I still have a brief thought of “uh-oh, we’re almost out of eggs” every day.  Silly city boy.

55 Responses to “5 Eggs Yesterday”

  1. mrs. varney-crawford Says:

    we used to have 14 hens and 2 roosters, getting 8 eggs a day (some hens were not yet adult enough to lay). then i gave away 1 rooster and 4 hens to a friend who was dying for chickens. seems i gave her my best producers because now i am down to 2-4 eggs per day. i still have the city in me as well because somedays when i go to the nests and find only 1 egg, i give the girls a lecture about earning their keep. never have been able to figure out who eats alot, just who bullys the others to stay away from the end-of-day leftover treats i throw them. (they like bananas–enjoy!)

  2. Nate Says:

    I think I remember you saying that your chickens are free-range. Any chance they have a nest somewhere in the yard? I’ve noticed that couple of my hens lay as late as lunch time - so if they were out of the coop by then they may be laying somewhere else.

    The main way I know “buffy” our buff orpington eats the most is that she’s gigantic. A solid 25 - 50% larger than the other hens.

  3. mrs. varney-crawford Says:

    no, they are very consistent in using the nesting boxes. i think it’s that i’m short my best layers since i gave them away and the youngsters haven’t really started laying yet. [i found another of the girls that were born last summer dead in her nest saturday morning.] yes, they are free range, but usually only late in the day. i think buffs are bigger birds, like the astrolorps (sp?). my hens are mixed breeds called “barneys” (yuk, yuk) and since i inherited them, i don’t know what their base breed is. but eggs are eggs and i’m just glad i get some!

  4. Debi Says:

    Kristy and Norman turned me on to your website… I am in Ann Arbor, waiting for the summer and some time off work so I can start building a coop. Your family is inspirational and I long for the days when my kids and I can appreciate the blessing of fresh eggs in our own backyard. There is much to read on your site, and I have only scratched (hee hee) the surface…

  5. mrs. varney-crawford Says:

    hey nate! i got 4 bantam cochin chickens on monday night (freebies) and i’ve already got 5 eggs from them! they’re very small but it’s so fun to look out into their cage to see if they’ve left me any tiny treasures. 2 are black cochins, 1 is a black “frizzle” which looks like a cochin that has a bad case of static, and one is a cochin mix - buffy with black markings. we’ve named her miss adorable because she’s so tiny. they don’t seem to like the roosting pole at night; instead, they sit on the edge of their 1 nesting box - two at each end - and poop in it all night. not too smart… it will be interesting to see what they do when they are put with my heavy breed girls.

  6. Nate Says:

    Let me know how the introduction goes. I’ve wondered about adding hens to our little “flock” in the future and how the whole pecking order works.

  7. mrs. varney-crawford Says:

    we introduced one hen that had been in the infirmary cage for 1 month. she had been one of the youngsters that were hatched last summer, so if chickens have a memory (which i heard they don’t) they might have remembered her. but - we put her cage in the coop with the others for 2-3 days so they would be used to her presence; then we removed the cage and watched the social interaction for a couple of hours. since they knew she was with them and that she had spent the night in the coop with them, the transition seemed like it went well. we’re planning on doing the same with the little bantam girls and hoping for the best.

  8. mrs. varney-crawford Says:

    it took 6 days to introduce the bantams to the big girls. we put their cage in the chicken run on sunday night before dark so the big girls would wake up with others in their midst. then on day 2 we let the littles out to explore the run while the big girls were ranging the 4 acres (closed them in run), day 3 positioned the cage so they could have an escape route and the big girls couldn’t catch them (which they tried to do) but they could still mingle with the entire flock; they were still roosting/sleeping/laying/eating in their cage. on day 4 we put the cage in the coop at night - day 5 took cage away and everyone slept together. we had shifted the roosting poles slightly and added some nesting boxes low to the floor, so everyone had to re-establish their positions according to tenure and stature (think 3 bears and goldilocks!); we heard lots of squawking last night but everyone woke up this morning together. seemed like alot of work, but thought it was necessary because they are so much smaller than the big girls.

  9. mrs. varney-crawford Says:

    well, nate. i’m sorry to say that our efforts to introduce bantams has produced such drama/strife we have had to take the matriarchal hens (3) out of the pen and put them alone in another pen across the yard. they had completely terrorized the bantams; we found 3 of them on an outside roosting pole at 11pm last night. since it was dark, we were able to pick them up without too much drama and put them in nesting boxes away from the bigger girls for the night but all day today they stayed inside in an area that the bigger girls couldn’t reach them. so, if you want to introduce more to your little flock, my experience suggests size does matter…

  10. mrs. varney-crawford Says:

    hey nate - check out this small coop for 3-5 hens: http://annarbor.craigslist.org/grd/695241341.html

  11. mrs. varney-crawford Says:

    hey nate - me again. i came across this idea for keeping the chickens cool in the michigan heat. especially if they are in your garage, this might be a good idea. i’m gonna try it.

    http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=59661&p=2

    hope you can open the link. also, some of the ladies/men say they put fans in the coops when it’s in the 90s+.

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