Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!
Friday, April 20, 2012
This is Rosie, a Red Star (hybrid sex link), who is now approaching two years old. Rosie is the boss of our flock and a very heavy producer of beautiful brown eggs. We're noticing that as she gets older, her eggs are changing.
Rosie was hatched May 17, 2010, and began laying eggs on September 22, 2010. Since then she has given us 530 eggs, which averages to 28 eggs per month for eighteen months. In the photo above, Rosie's egg is the lovely caramel brown color. In my egg journal, her eggs were first described as large and brown. After her first year, the description changed to jumbo brown.
Sometime over the winter, Rosie's eggs began to change. They first developed hard lumps on the ends. Initially, I thought it was a calcium deficiency, but I learned that it's really an excess of calcium. Later, little sandy bits (also calcium) appear randomly on the shell. The color has faded and the strength of her shells has diminished significantly. I'm sure she's getting enough calcium, but I wonder if her body is absorbing it properly. The good news is that she seems otherwise quite healthy and unconcerned. She's down to about 25 eggs per month now, which is quite remarkable for her age.
In a commercial facility, Rosie would have been dog food months ago. I won't be able to keep unproductive chickens indefinitely, but for now Rosie's future is secure. We think she's amazing!