Today was a good day! Although my vacation time has come to an end… I will be off of vacation officially at 5 AM tomorrow when I wake up to get ready for work. Oh well. I know I wouldn’t enjoy “time off” if I was laid off, so I guess it’s all how you look at it.
Last week I asked the kids how many eggs we were getting a day. Julie said, “none”. What the heck! They say that chickens need 14 hours of light a day to lay, but according to a lot of different things I’ve read, several of my breeds lay over the winter. Sooooo, I spent a lot (and I mean a lot) of time this week reading up on chicken diets. I went to my local Tractor Supply store and bought chicken vitamins (it’s a yellow powder I add to their drinking water). I opened up a bag of crushed oyster shells and put it out for them to snack on – the oyster shells have calcium, which strengthens the egg shells and supposedly encourages egg-laying. I also bought a bag of KITTEN FOOD. Sarah’s friend Ally was over, and she saw the bag of cat food. “Sarah, when did you get a cat?” (I just love confusing the kids!) Anyway, I gave the chickens about 2 cups of kitten food a day for the past week. The result – no eggs to 5 eggs/day in a week! Success! The chickens combs are much redder, and the chickens themselves appear much “peppier”. I will be keeping them on this diet. When spring arrives, they will be supervised in the yard – chickens are great weeders and lawn mowers, and munching on “pasture” is good for them too!
One problem I have had, though, is that the hens keep laying their eggs in a corner, and not in the nesting box we made for them. So, I took an egg crate, put down wood shavings, and some of Ron’s old golf balls to encourage them to lay in the nesting box. According to my readings, hens think that the golf balls are eggs. I don’t think they’ll recognize the Nike insignia on the golf balls! In the picture below are the 5 eggs that were waiting for me today! They’re all different sizes, and all different shades of brown. Cool!
With all of these eggs we got today, Sarah and I decided to bake a cake. We quick threw an orange pound cake in the oven before her dad came to pick her up… As you can see, she enjoyed licking the spoon!
The incubation project is on Day 6. I got an email today stating that I have another shipment of eggs in the mail – these eggs are coming from Ohio. My temps have been holding steady, but the humidity is still low. I think I’m going to saturate a sponge and place it on the floor of the incubator. That seemed to help last year with the humidity.
Well, it’s time for me to sign off for now. I’m going to throw a quick load of laundry in the washer and head up to watch The Walton’s. OK, I know it’s corny, but my nightly routine involves watching an episode of The Walton’s with Sarah. Besides, they have cool chickens.