“Love and eggs are best when they are fresh.” –Russian proverb
Our kid will correct you if you say to her “a chicken says cluck cluck cluck.” She’ll say “No, a chicken says ‘bweAAAH bweAAAH bweAAAH.” Because they do. And guineas? “chuPWACK chuPWACK chuPWACK.”
So I think I have discovered the secret to getting fresh eggs year-round. It’s a simple one: always have enough young pullets around to lay them! You see, chickens need about 14 hours of light a day to encourage them to lay: anything less than that, they’re saving their reserves for other worthwhile ventures, like keeping themselves warm. Our older girls will give us an egg maybe every three days, but four of the five youngsters will lay just about daily. It’s a lot of eggs: more than we can eat, quite frankly. But: we have egg-loving friends, family and employers….
We do have one warming light in their coop. (Yes, sue me; but remember, our electricity is Nookeelar, as our esteemed president calls it: a carbon neutral but not guilt neutral power source. And I do feel guilty about the expenditure, but rather happier that I have happy chickens.) It’s on a timer, and gives them about 4 hours of light at night.
It’s cold out, so they spend most of their days all huddled up in the chicken condo (different, certainly, from the chicken coop: this is just their day house) shown in the picture above. It keeps them out of the wind, but I would think it would be kind of crowded with eleven of them in there. Ah, well, birds of a feather: they do flock together!