Contrarians in the Coop!

Dec 26, 2017 | 1 comment

After months of ‘nary an egg, the Oysterville Chicken Strike seems to be over.  After crossing their little legs and refusing to lay a single egg since last July, suddenly two of the four girls have gone back into production mode!   In the last ten days, there have been three eggs in the nest boxes.

I really wish I knew what goes through those tiny chicken brains.  Here it is, the end of December and those silly girls have decided to get back to work!  Don’t they know ANYthing?  Don’t they read???

 According to the experts: To lay eggs your chickens need plenty of natural daylight-at least 14 hours a day and 16 hours is even better. This means that during the winter, when in the U.S., the natural daylight can drop to less than 9 hours a day; your girls would need 5 more hours of daylight to lay eggs.

That information is available everywhere – in books and magazines devoted to chickens; on internet sites concerning poultry and farming; and, in case they have been reluctant about doing their homework, we’ve given them private tutoring.  Repeatedly.  Plus, wouldn’t you think they’d notice that we only have about eight and a half hours of daylight at this time of year?  As opposed to the sixteen hours we had six months ago?

Actually, I know they do notice.  These days, it gets dark about five o’clock and they are already in their coop and roosting – in their kiss-and-lie-down clothes, you might say – by the time Nyel or I get down there to lock them in for the night.  And, there’s not so much as a rustle or a peep from them until well into the morning – seven or eight o’clock, anyway.  Not enough daylight hours for egg-laying… presumably.

For months, we’ve followed the advice of those same experts.  We’ve cleaned their coop more often and more thoroughly.  We’ve changed to a different type of chicken feed.  We’ve talked to them and given them choice sorts of scratch.  Result: nothing.   Eric, who suggested the tetherball court because chickens like to play, says they were bored.   Our neighbor Carol, chief chicken-sitter all these months we’ve been only part-time residents, says they’ve missed Farmer Nyel.

The chickens aren’t talking.  But they’re laying and that’s good enough for us!  And, just for the record, we’re calling them all “Mary, Mary.”

1 Comment

  1. Ruth maloney

    I agree they have missed Farmer Nyle. Or maybe they were sending all their energy into prayers of healing for Farmer Nyle.


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