Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Who's Shirking?

Over a month ago my hens started laying. First the darling little pullet eggs and then moved on to some pretty nice double yolkers. They were laying around 5 eggs a day. When I went on vacation my neighbor had eggs to spare. She ate some, sold 4 dozen and gave some away. We were up to 6 or 7 a day when it abruptly came to a halt. One day I had no eggs. Then next day maybe 3, if I was lucky. Today only two. What going on. I have customers!

The girls are happy and healthy. They get plenty of food and water. Maybe life's too good. Every morning they greet me like puppies. "Let us out, let us out." "What are we doing today."
Maybe they have grander plans for their lives than providing me (along with a few of my co-worker's) breakfast. But I have customers and grand plans of them paying for their own feed.

It's hard to tell the shirkers because I get a variety of egg colors. Dark brown, light brown, bluegreen, green and one white one.

I know who lays the white one. She's not a shirker.

Ramona is not a shirker.

I think Smokey is doing her part.

The rest I'm not too sure about.


Tracey said...

I'm sorry about your declining eggs :( Hopefully it will pick back up....tomorrrow!
I LOVE the picture of the hens all waiting to get out in the morning..CUTE :)

sugarcreekstuff said...

Mine started shirking too. I found a nest under some winter sleds in the barn, little stinkers.


I wish you were my neighbor. I'd definitely buy eggs from you. Your chickens/hens are beautiful.
Loved your peach pictures too! We bought peaches at Pike Place a couple of weeks ago. They were sooo sweet. I hope the fresh fruit keeps showing up for awhile longer.

Anonymous said...

What nice chickens:0

goatgirl said...

That's what I keep looking for sugarcreekstuff, a nest hidden somewhere, but don't see one anywhere.

Gone2theDawgs said...

My girls cane get pretty creative sometimes when it comes to different nesting spots. I don't understand it either, since they have beautiful nest boxes to lay in! :) Some of the places I've found them is in the sheep feeder, a corner of the stall, under a fern, and I had one Americauna that would lay UNDER the barn...never did trust the eggs that would eventually roll out. Nothing like having an Easter egg hunt year round!! :)

Pamela said...

I, too, love the picture of the girls waiting to come out.

Very pretty ladies you have there! Here's hoping they start laying again.

Heidi said...

Time for the soup kettle for those ole gals? LOL Just kidding!!! Are all your gals pullets or do you have some older hens? Your chickies always look so healthy, clean and content, just like they love to live with you. :)

goatgirl said...

Heidi, 10 are pullets and 2 are more "mature" hens.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Your chickens are just so beautiful and you took some wonderful photos of them. I like the close-ups and the one where they are all asking to come out to play :)

I've had what I thought to be shirkers a couple times, but discovered that I had an egg eating chicken.

For several days, I got another less egg, until it went down to only 5 eggs a day for 13 chickens. Not good!

One day I caught one of my brown leghorns finishing up eating the last shards of shell and pecking at the white. darn bird!

What I did was kept checking on the eggs more often throughout the day and gathering them before this chicken could get to them.
I also added more scraps to their diet to keep them busy and less bored, or whatever. haha

Less opportunity to sneak into the henhouse to steal eggs worked pretty good for me. I'm not sure now if this has totally fixed the problem, but I have two broody girls right now, so that means two less eggs as well. So time will tell.

I hope whatever is causing the shirking at your farm gets figured out soon :)


goatgirl said...

twinville, I too have suspected an egg eating bird but have not seen any signs of that yet. And no mystery nest either. I think they are just not laying much right now for some reason.
As you can tell I am liking my new camera and find the chickens to be good subjects. Their feathers are beautiful, I think.

Country Girl said...

How much are you selling your eggs for? We are getting $2/dozen.

goatgirl said...

I am selling them for 2.00 also...that is if I ever get any more.

Danni said...

Sigh. I have a shirker, too, and I know exactly who it is. Dot, my White-Crested Black Polish, hasn't laid in egg in over three weeks...what is she doing, saving it up for one big GIGANTIC egg? sheesh. What are we gonna do? Silly shirky shirksters....

goatgirl said...

I have about 6 shirkers. I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Out of 5 hens I get about two eggs a day. I think I know who my shirkers are.

Great pictures and you have some awesome looking chickens!

Chanda said...

The smokey colored chicken is a beautiful speciman of a cluck. I don't know what could be the matter with the laying situation. Are you still getting plenty of day light? In the winter we always keep a light shining on our chicks so that they get 18 hours of day light. This way we get eggs all year this way. It has something to do with the dialation of their eyes.
Good luck and hope you start getting more eggs.