Hello chicken keepers!
If you’re anything like me, then one of the biggest joys of owning chooks comes every breakfast time - when you dish out those beautiful, delicious fresh eggs and wonder how anyone can settle for store-bought (and factory-farmed). And, not only do they taste better, but your own eggs are better for you too! Chickens are the pet that gives back!
Clearly, a lot of you out there love your cackleberries! We receive tonnes of questions every day on egg production problems, and difficulties, and even wonderful pictures of glorious double-yolkers. For this weekend’s Mother Hen Tips I’ll try and answer some of the most common conundrums:
- Why aren’t my chickens laying? Chickens can stop laying for a whole heap of reasons, from moulting season, to poor nutrition, to broodiness. Basically, anything that might cause your chooks discomfort can also affect their laying. Stress is a common culprit (loud noises, predator sightings, even a change of food). And you thought it was easy being a chicken! However, if your girls aren’t laying, and seem listless or weak, they may be egg bound. Be sure to check!
- How can I get my chickens to lay more? The only responsible way to get your chickens laying to their maximum potential is to make them feel their best. Plenty of the right feed, water, healthy treats, and a clean, fresh coop all mean less stress, and more time for egg production. Treat your girls right, and they’ll reward you for it.
- What is wrong with my eggs? Every so often, every hen will produce an ‘odd’ egg. Be it soft-shelled, shell-less, chalky or wrinkled, this is usually nothing to worry about. You might want to give your girls a little extra grit, but otherwise fret not! And if you get a double yolker? Time to rejoice! I like to whip up an extra-special breakfast on these rare occasions :)
Laying eggs is just one small part of being a chicken, but how well they lay depends on how well you care for them. Happy, flappy Australorps like mine will lay as many as 5 a week. Omelettes ahoy!