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And when I got there, the nest box was bare

Posted by on Tuesday 23 October 2012 in chickens | 4 comments

For the first time since getting our first birds two-and-a-half years ago, there weren’t any eggs in the nest box today. Even when the temperature was minus-stupid degrees C a couple of winters ago, they kept on laying – not all every day, but at least one or two – but I think the combination of their age, the shortening days and possibly imminent moults has caught up with them. There was no sign of eggs being laid then pecked/eaten but we’ll have to see what tomorrow brings – or doesn’t bring.

The day hasn’t been completely egg-less though – I found one of the new girl’s little pullet eggs in the main body of the coop. The new girls seem to have the layout of their home a little backwards – they’ve been perching on the edges of the nestboxes and the one that is laying has been doing so in the sleepy bit of the coop. I’m sure they’ll figure it out sooner or later.

In related news, I swept a whole bunch of fallen leaves into the run this afternoon. They’ll breakdown pretty quickly but in the meantime, I think six little ladies will have fun digging through them.

Do your chickens lay every day or do they have days off too?


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  1. Lisa Lucas

    I have had 3 chickens since the beginning of May. One started to lay the next day and the other two from the beginning of June and since then I have had 3 eggs most days, just occasionaly there are two but never less. I don’t know yet if they will stop laying completely over the winter or not – I hope not! The days have got rapidly shorter here in the last couple of weeks and they go into roost by 6 pm.

  2. Hazel

    Mine have decided to have a rest at the moment too- either elderly or moulting (or both) or not quite ready, ion the case of my two pullets.
    The ducks keep going though!

    And I’m eyeing up a growing pile of leaves in the road from our willow tree to put in the hens run to mop up some of the mud…

  3. Jo

    I collect bags of leaves in the autumn to put in the hens’ runs for the rest of the year. The leaves are particularly good in the winter to keep their feet off the frozen earth. There is no grass left in the hens’ half of the gatden as they have scratched it all up. After 3-4 days in the run, the leaves are just a pile of crumbs and the hens have had fun. When we rake the crumbs out, they are added to the compost bin and seem to rot down quite quickly.

    Our hens are haviing a bit of a rest from laying so many eggs too but most of them are getting on a bit now so it does not surprise me at all.

  4. Karen

    Hi, I have 1 hen who is 4 1/2 and 1 that is approx 5 months old. My oldest lays whenever she feels like it and little’n lays everyday. I think little’n will continue laying until she moults or its just too cold for her. I’ve just put a load of old wood chippings in their run to soak up the mud and water and its worked a treat. I feel really sorry for them when they are covered in mud, it must feel awful. As you can tell I love my girls and they are always there in the mornings waiting for me to feed and cuddle them, even if they are covered in mud. lol.

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