June 1, 2012

" Egg-Eaters Anonymous " - #FAIL

The whole idea behind raising chickens is for two reasons.

You want eggs.  Or - you want meat for the freezer.  Everybody has their preferences.

We wanted eggs.

What anyone accustomed to - simply - grabbing a carton of eggs from the shelf in any grocery store - is totally unaware of is…

There are chickens with a structure for becoming good meat birds.  But there are chickens that are - really - only built for laying eggs.  And then - there are those that can be considered fair to middling on both sides.

Me being me - wanted to get the most bang for my buck.  And if the wench should ever hold out on giving eggs…

That’s why we went for the Buff Orrington’s - considered for being a worthy “ Dual Purpose “ bird…  Just in case.

And this week included such a case.

When you’re raising chickens for eggs - and you’re spoiling them rotten - paying for feed and electricity to keep them happy - calm and warm / cool - even giving them special treats…

There is every reason that you should be receiving an egg from them on a daily basis.

Sadly - there are times when you’ll end up with a bird that - eats eggs.

And there’s a process you should go through - before getting ticked off - wacking the head off and throwing the remains out into some field for the Buzzards.

I have done all that I can do.  I have allowed time for molting.  I have increased their food protein to 22% Game/Show bird feed to help pull them out of the molting.  They get fresh water twice a day.  I empty their food dishes in the evening and re-fill them ( out of mere routine, which they have come to expect ) for the evening before they roost at night.  I have turned them out early in the mornings so they can catch all the bugs they want - get all the greens they want.  I have de-wormed them.  I have even thrown wild bird seed all over our yard - to force them out into the sunlight that they need for producing eggs.

I will not go into detail about all the selfish antics they’ve responded with - which almost pushed me to get a rooster - for revenge on their butts - literally.

But I will tell you - I reached the end of my rope with walking into the coop and finding eggs busted open - when I’m only getting 1 or 2 eggs out of 8 hens - PER WEEK - FOR MONTHS that have passed.

I’ve had one girl that seems to think she has the right to force the others to not lay eggs when she gets a wild hair up her butt.  Apparently - there has been quite a bit of fighting lately - over who should become Top Bitty of the bunch.

( Notice the two strings dangling with the loops. )

So - at this point - I’m ready to chuck the whole bunch - start over - keep a Rooster - and cut out spoiling the wenches.

It came down to 2 birds harassing 1 bird that was nesting in the box the other day.  One on the ground - the other on the perch landing - just screaming and squawking - driving the whole neighborhood nuts - setting off the dogs.

I got a wild hair.

I ran the 2 birds out - shut all the doors to the coop and both yards - locking that bird inside by herself.  My thought was to allow her to lay her egg in peace.

Dwayne - ( unaware of what I had done ) - decided to do me a favor - later on - and go check the coop for eggs.

I catch him - just in time - walking out of the coop with a busted egg.  I told him to hurry and shut the door to the little yard - leaving the hen inside by herself.

She was placed inside the chicken tractor for the rest of the day.  She was locked inside the little yard to roost that night - separated from the other birds that roosted inside the coop.  And she was fed nothing but water.

She was moved to this carrier yesterday morning.

She’s sitting in our freezer this morning.

( I know!  You thought I was gonna show you all the gory details - huh!?! )

She had a fully developed egg - and 5 others waiting in line - in proper stages of development.

The speckled egg confirmed my suspicions… it was Cissy.

I have sacrificed 1 of 2 birds that were consistent in laying any eggs - at all.

But it does you no good when they’re enjoying the fruits of their labor - after you have spent more than you’ve saved - to feed them - and pamper them before you even think about yourself.

On the other side of life…

( Baby figs! )

All you really need to do is make sure a Fig tree gets plenty of water - and they’re more than happy to give you loads of figs!


A Lady's Life said...

Aw poor chicken lol
We have many East Indians who made a cage on legs and fill it with hay, where they keep 6 egg laying chickens . I also bought 4 plus a rooster because he was gorgeous!
We called him Cordelius. Cordelius ate with us and watched tv with us. and crowed non stop from 4 am to noon. He had to go because the neighbors began to complain.
I hid him in the basement in a large aquarium at night but he was still so loud. So we gave away our chickens and rooster to another neighbor.
I couldn't kill them. Especially Cordelius! but I had eggs every day.It was cheaper to buy them though because feeding the birds was expensive. Ducks are cheaper and the eggs taste better.
I had two ducks and they both layed double yolked eggs every day.
Made me wonder about that.

Queenacres said...

I can't stand a hen that eats eggs! You know, the others may be laying but they might have been eatin before you got them. Something to ponder. I've never liked Buff Orps, they are the only breed we've ever had problems with predators eating....and they've never been strong layers.

Queenacres said...

Oh and congrats on the figs! We planted a tiny little fig tree last year and nursed it through the drought. This year it's got 1 fig on it.

Deb said...

Yep, there are times you just gotta get rid of those chickens...but they sure taste good in the stewpot! :-))

We have fig trees at our new house, more like bushes actually...but I don't know anything about them, as I've never been around them, so...if you have time, do a post about taking care of them, and what you do with the figs please!!! :-))