I just did the monthly egg tally, and the girls are certainly not earning their keep.
They laid a grand total of 17 eggs for the entire month of May. There is a good reason however, and that is that they are moulting. There are feathers everywhere, and it looks like I have killed, and plucked a few of them and scattered the feathers around the chook run!
Now if I did not keep a tally, I may have been very concerned, so I checked back in my egg book (yes I have a book to record eggs laid each day), and remarked to Kim that the hens only laid 41 eggs in May last year, which was the yearly minimum. Around the winter solstice, the girls started to pick up the pace again.
We can only hope that this happens, because I am not running a retirement home for old battle axes. The two oldest girls, Bunty and Edwina, are now 4 and three quarter years old, which is quite long in the tooth for ISA Browns. In a commercial intensive farm, they are killed at about the 18 month mark, which is just before their first moult. Sad, but true.
That being said the rest are still quite young, and the bantams and leghorns are laying, albeit every few days. The four ISA browns have not popped out a bum nut for about three weeks.
I may just have to see what eventuates over the next few months, and make the difficult decision at that time.
For those of you with chickens, are you having a famine at the moment?