Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Shock Therapy Produces Eggs

One morning last week we lost two chickens to what we believe was a big owl.  (Apparently, Mr. [or Ms.] Owl thought the first chicken tasted so good, he/she came back for one more.)

For the past couple of months, our chickens have been on their annual no-egg-laying vacation, and if it weren't for the fact that I stockpiled enough eggs, we would have been on a sad, eggless diet during December and January.


Now I'm beginning to think the owl attack has scared the eggs right out of the hens, because for the last several days we've been getting a good number of eggs.

One hen (proud producer of that biggie on the lower right hand corner) seems to be trying to make up for lost time.  And bless our little bantam hens (eggs in top row).  Even while everyone else was on hiatus, we continued to get one, sometimes two, bantam eggs a day.  We love our little banties!

24 comments:

Freedom Acres Farm said...

How do you stock pile them? I've tried several avenues but not had much luck.

Carolyn said...

Well, I'm definitely NOT going to try your kind of shock therapy for my chickens. Actually, for the past week we've been getting 8, 9 & 10 eggs! Like all of a sudden - BAM! - everyone wants to lay. Even have at least four of the 18 pullets laying....and INSIDE the coop at that!
Yay for eggs, and the coming of spring!!

Susan said...

Don't you just love those banties? Unfortunately, the hawk got one of mine, but the remaining little cutie lays an egg almost every day. I did freeze eggs this year, but there is nothing like a fresh one!

judy said...

ARE YA SURE THE OWL DIDN'T LEAVE A TRADE ,NOT THAT I KNOW A THING ABOUT WHAT A OWL EGG LOOKS LIKE ,MAYBE I BETTER GOOGLE THIS BEFORE I MAKE A FOOL OF MYSELF (HAPPENS OFTEN ) LIKE TODAY ,I KEPT ASKING JERRY "WHY IS IT SO DARK IN HERE" HE SAYS"MAYBE YOU SHOULD TURN THE LIGHT ON"

odiie said...

Yep, I'm wondering with Freedom Acres-how do you stockpile them? Freezer? Send the owl over here so mine will start?

Mama Pea said...

Freedom Acres Farm - Since a couple of you have asked, I'll do a short post on how I save my eggs. I'll get that up within a couple of days, promise.

Mama Pea said...

Carolyn - I'd say your hens are doing just fine with that kind of production. Funny how your menu can change when you have plenty of eggs to use, isn't it?

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Another reason to love the banties is that they will set on and hatch out any eggs you give them. Then they are such good mothers . . . I don't think we'll ever be without them.

Mama Pea said...

judy - All the hungry owl left was a bunch of feathers scattered to the wind! He consumed the heads, feet, bones, everything!

Mama Pea said...

odiie - As I answered Freedom Acres, I'll let you all know how I stockpile our eggs. Nothing fancy, but it works for me!

Little Homestead In Boise said...

I read a really fascinating article in Mother Earth News about comparing how to preserve eggs. I don't remember which one was best, but NOT washing them was key...

Ruth Dixon said...

Here on the Oregon coast we tend to get eggs all winter long (no extremely cold weather), with 9 laying hens I managed to get at least a couple a day. Poor hubby complained because I sold what I got, but it helped pay for the feed. Then January 1st, I added a few more one year old hens, but they hadn't been fed well, so it took a long time to get the laying up. The last week I've gotten ten a day, and today was 15! Woo hoo!

Michelle said...

It's good that your getting eggs, lets just hope the owl doesn't come back.

Ilene Jones said...

When we had our chickens, they would always run into the chicken house when they saw danger, and some of them would hunker down in the egg boxes. Maybe yours did that too, and got in the egg-laying mood while they were there. LOL

We lost a young hen to a hawk once and he just carried it away. It all happened so fast. It was sad to lose the chicken but good that we didn't have to witness the carnage.

I just put the last container of our frozen eggs into bread dough yesterday. Now we are 100% back to purchased eggs.

Kristina said...

Ours are coming out frozen, ha ha! If I get enough today, I am making a chili-egg dish. I need 10 to make it.

Mama Pea said...

Little Homestead - I may have to look that article up in Mother Earth News. Thanks for the info.

Mama Pea said...

Ruth Dixon - To have the right amount of eggs for your own table plus enough to sell to pay for their feed . . . that's a great equation. Proportion. Number. Aw heck, you know what I mean.

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - We've never been bothered by owls until this year. Hawks, yes, but not owls. That we knew of.

Mama Pea said...

Ilene Jones - We all know wild animals (maybe I should say wild fowl/birds in this case) have to eat, too, and I'm sure the owl was plenty hungry in this very snowy, frigid winter of ours. But all the same, 'tis hard to lose "domesticated" livestock that you raise for your own food.

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - Frozen, cracked eggs. Yep, we've been battling that with the few we've gotten over the last frigid months. You can't run out to the coop every 10 minutes, but in 10 minutes these days they freeze and crack. Ugh. Drat. Darn.

Candy C. said...

I wonder how loud that chicken clucked when she laid that big egg! Ouch!
We have to keep our run completely covered to thwart the hawks and owls. I'm looking forward to seeing your chicken house plans this summer! :)

Mama Pea said...

Candy C. - We usually only have trouble with hawks in the spring and summer (migrations) and this is the first year we've had trouble with an owl . . . or owls.

Regarding the chicken house/pasture plans, our summer list is already growing so long, I don't know how we'll possibly get it done. That's one big disadvantage to living up here where it's virtually impossible to make progress on any work outside during the winter/cold months. :o( Everything is crammed into a few months.

Jody M said...

We've discovered a small screech owl living in the chicken pen after dark. He's so small, we don't worry about him messing with the chickens, who are in the coop by that point anyway, so we're just leaving him be. It's kinda cool, I've never seen one so close, I didn't realize they were that small!

Mama Pea said...

Jody M - How cool! I've never seen one either but have heard they are very small. He must be happy roosting there.