My chickens have had a very rough winter. There are only five laying hens and two roosters. About a month ago Eddie Dunlavey put a lamp on in the coop and has been leaving it on it on all night. That seemed to perk them up a little and they are now laying reasonably frequently again. The story really goes back to last year when a neighbor’s dogs got into the chicken coop and killed or crippled most of the chickens. Another kind neighbor gave us two rooster replacements and five of the hens somehow survived. One of the roosters who came with the name Elvis is a Polish Top Hat, a really weird looking bird (unless I guess you are a Polish Top Hat hen) and he is one neurotic nutcase. When I put him in the henhouse it looked like he had been fired out of a shotgun and he hasn’t calmed down since. I’ll see if I can figure out how to post a picture of him.
So we are now getting about 2-3 eggs a day and of course there is no way of knowing which chickens are laying and which are ready for soup. They refuse to talk about it. Every two years I get day old chicks in the mail, usually Rhode Island Reds. They start laying after about four months and keep laying an egg a day for two years. So come next summer I will be “replacing” the old hens and hope to give Elvis some new recruits for his attention. PK