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, February 7, 2014

Increased Egg Production

What's wrong with this picture? Nothing, I suppose. Egg production from my backyard flock is way up. I should hardly be concerned!

The numbers bottomed out - predictably - the week of the winter solstice. (Remember that egg production is dependent upon light, not necessarily temperature.) That week we gathered only 11 eggs from the girls. With the increase in natural daylight and a little supplemental lighting in the early morning, egg production is currently up to about 23 eggs per week.

Thelma and Louise (our Buckeye-Delaware hybrids) began molting around Thanksgiving. The poor things looked quite miserable for a month or so. It takes all their energy to grow new feathers and they ceased laying eggs entirely for about eight weeks. Happily, they are both back into production now.

So what's wrong with the picture? My silly Easter Egger, Cassie, hasn't laid an egg since Dec. 21. She's not molting or sick, just unproductive. It's not uncommon for egg laying to slow or stop in the winter, but she's less than a year old and should be doing something other than eat, sleep and poop. All that expensive organic chicken food needs to translate into organic eggs. This is an urban farm, not a zoo. Tick-tock, Cassie.

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