So, we've been a bit disappointed with the hens' output of eggs these last few months. Some of it, we knew was due to the shorter days, however, as the days grew longer, their output did not really increase. We were stumped. Why were 12 hens only laying 4 eggs per day on average?
I'll tell you why. Those girls were hoarding their eggs, lol!! They had been laying a few each day in the laying boxes and the rest were being laid on the ground, and then covered with hay. When we discovered their hoard, they had amassed 90 eggs!! Since no one was sitting on the eggs, they were not growing chicks, unfortunately. Now that we know their secret, we can prevent them from doing it again. We are now getting between 10 and 11 eggs per day; enough for our needs, to share with neighbors and even for a customer :)
Our flock has changed some in the last few months. We have lost 4 hens to the neighborhood dogs (including one to our dog) and we are getting rid of some of our roosters (2 down, one to go). That will leave us with 12 hens and a rooster. For now, that will work out fine for our needs.
More updates coming soon.