Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It helps to be low to the ground...

Last week we bought a dozen 10 month old laying hens.  The next day we had a dozen eggs (we already had 3 hens).  The day after that, 9, and one of the new ones drowned in the goat/cow water trough.  We've been getting 8-10 a day since.  Today we could only find 2.  They've been using a nesting box inside the hen house and sometimes just laying on the lawn.  We decided to check a spot that some hens we no longer have used last summer.  Jackpot!  However, I couldn't see them, even bent over.  My 4 year old son was all excited and I thought he was just being silly until I leaned in for a closer look:

There are 10 eggs there, so we got another dozen today.  We're finally getting more than we use!

Last summer a similar thing happened, but we thought they had stopped laying because of the heat.  We'd find one or two every couple of days (I think we had about 7 hens) and I had searched all the usual places, near the usual places and places we've never thought to look.  Once again, my son was swinging a stick like a sword and pushed aside some vines that grow up around a tree and found their hiding spot.  There were 29 eggs there! 

More had been laid, as there was evidence of broken egg.  I was told that you could put a egg in water and if it floats, it's starting to go bad, so we did that as we used them and only 3 were bad!  By the way, did you know that if you have hens you shouldn't wash their eggs until you are ready to them?  There's an invisible protective layer called the bloom that keeps air out.  If you wash the egg you remove that protective layer.  Just FYI.