Day: November 18, 2020

He huffed and he puffed…

… And blew our house down!

Last week we had a doozy of a windstorm. It raged all day and all night. The next morning the ‘Chicken Palace’ was no more! The tarped roof and all of its support beams as well as a few t-posts were flipped onto the roof of the jenny’s barn. Bet that was quite a thump!

While the craziness was taking hold the flock was actually safely tucked into their coop watching the storm through their windows.

Speaking of that coop…

It’s had a little face lift.

These girls SHOULD begin laying soon… I have to confess that I don’t know if they’ll begin to lay this month … or even next…

They are old enough to begin laying this month. But when you think about it… what bird is going to lay eggs in the deep dark days of early winter? Not any Canadian wild bird… that’s for sure.

In order to have a hen lay eggs at this time of year you have to trick their systems by providing artificial light. If they have 12 to 14 hours of light each day their body thinks they are in spring or summer.

Their pineal gland signals their bodies to produce the necessary hormones – and hence – eggs. However the practice of stimulating egg production has its drawbacks. It is hard on a hen’s body to lay eggs year round.

Having a fall-winter rest period allows them to moult old feathers and steer proteins to growing a new fluffy winter layer.

A hen has a finite number of eggs to lay in her lifetime. Whether she lays them all in her first few years … or more gradually over her lifetime… the end result is the same. It can be hard on a hen to lay an egg every day.

The Orpington hens will likely lay three or four eggs a week. Having seven of them could mean 21 to 28 eggs a week. My old girls may lay again this year… or they may be done with that.

I’m fine with them living our their years running around the woods with the newbies.

Perhaps in an effort to put off my daily checks and no egg letdown I decided to work on some curtains for their nesting boxes. I know the old girls preferred their boxes curtained.

I wondered if they’d even notice.

Guess so! 😆

Still… not enough to persuade any serious nesting. Hahah!

With the Chicken Palace blown to smithereens the flock have been spending a little more time in their coop. I dragged in a few of the straw bales they loved to sit on. And make a point of opening the blinds on their windows each morning.

Although there are those who would suggest we hold off replacing the Palace until the hens provide some fresh egg currency…

They are relieved to know the reconstruction begins in earnest tomorrow. The Palace was their go to place on rainy days – or cold sunny winter days when they could lounge on bales of straw along their wall of south-facing windows.

Why did the chicken cross the road? To move into our cushy little hen house of course!