Laying Summary – January 2014
February 2, 2014 § Leave a comment
Ah, summer. Season of heat, of epidemic broodiness, and of thinning egg shells. And another reminder (as if we needed one) of why we must always have Dorkings in our flock. Chart time!
Let’s start with the excuses and puzzles and disappointments. Poppy is, of course, fully occupied being a Mama Hen, so her absence from the laying lists is entirely expected and justified. Slightly less justifiable is the zero eggs (still) from Erica and Dorothy, who are both looking healthy and happy (well, as much as Noodle ever does), and even spending the odd hour or so in their respective nestboxes, JTMWU (Just To Mess With Us). Ella went broody in late December, and so is responsible for the destruction of several eggs from other hens – Saffy mainly, but also a couple of others. Holly joined her in broodiness in the second week of January, and only came back into lay on the last day of the month. (It is astonishing how much her shape changes when she’s not laying – her undercarriage comes right up, and she looks quite trim and elegant. So when everything thoroughly sagged on the morning of the 31st, I knew she was about to lay again. Plus Lola clued me in by ravishing her thoroughly the day before. He seems to be able to tell fairly reliably.) Lily also went broody – in her case, the bok-boking and ceasing of laying started a good ten days or so before she made any attempt to stay in the nest. Anyhow, she’s only just snapped out of that, so her 8 eggs isn’t so bad. Olivia I’m not sure about. She had been in such good lay most of last year, so she is certainly entitled to a break. But she’s not broody, and doesn’t seem to be moulting. So I think we just have to accept it, and not worry too much. Certainly there’s nothing to suggest she’s unwell. We’ll put it down to the season, and leave it at that.
You may have noticed that the only hens remaining now are Adelaide, Saffy, Charlotte, Gabrielle and Imogen. Four Dorkings and one Coronation Sussex. All still laying quite regularly, thank you very much, despite the fact that the Dorking girls all seem to feel the heat much more than the other breeds (well, except Ella).
So our winner this month was a tie, yet again, between Charlotte and Adelaide on 19 eggs for the month. Yay girls! Saffy would have been a third member of that group, if not for Ella mashing three of her eggs (that we know of) during the throes of her broodiness. As it was, second place went to Gabrielle on 17, then Saffy (16), and Imogen just behind on 15.
Hooray for Dorkings! Hooray for Adelaide! Hooray!