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{winter eggs}

12.07.11

T

he winter leaves us with less than stellar numbers in our egg collection count at the end of each day.  Today we collected 3 eggs.  Yep.  It makes for challenging sales when you are getting a whole dozen only every 4 days.  This seasonal production cycle is an obvious drawback to our layer operation.

We try to plan when we buy new chicks each year to have them start laying in the fall.  We do this to try to even out the production spike in the spring {when we have so many eggs we can’t get rid of them fast enough and where we use our personal refrigerators to store the extra abundance.}  Though with this type of laying schedule we do have to sacrifice some production in the winter.  All in all, this is the most economical and cost efficient way for us to stay in the black of our yearly egg sales to chicken feed consumption ratio.

We could chose to put lights on our birds during the time of year when the days are shorter, but we believe that the chicken was naturally made the way it is for a reason.  She needs to take a time of rest so that she can better survive in the winter and have strong egg production for the entirety of her life.

I know how sad {and frustrating} it is to not count on your X dozen eggs a week from us and other small, local farms.  It might inspire you to start raising chickens of your own in your backyard like you’ve been dreaming of.  You could also support multiple small farms and purchase a few dozen from each of them, and get the rest from the store if you still can’t get enough.

The ladies are still pulling their weight around the farm even with the less than stellar egg production.  They are converting their food into nitrogen which in tern nourishes and strengths the health of the pasture.  They scratch and eat slugs, bugs, and sanitize the pasture.  And last but not least, they are clucking around outside on pasture being a chicken and loving life.  Soon enough spring will be here and we’ll have eggs coming out our ears.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. 12.07.11 4:58 PM

    Lovely blog : ) I didn’t know they didn’t lay as much in the winter, although now that I think about it this does male sense. Thanks!

  2. 12.07.11 5:42 PM

    What do you guys think of the breeds they say have fuller feathers and therefore are warmer in the winter and produce more during the colder months? We are getting ready to have chickens of our own and I am not sure what breeds to get….thoughts??

    • 12.07.11 6:35 PM

      As far as I know- most all layers can handle and withstand the Oregon-Valley winters. Not all broilers can. We have all heritage breed layers and thoroughly enjoy the variety of each different breed. There are ways to give them some outdoor shelter if the wind is really whipping or the temperatures drop drastically. Hope that helps!

  3. Deb permalink
    12.09.11 3:08 AM

    If you need eggs, let me know. My girls are doing a good job these days. I’m not far off the freeway a bit north of you.

    With only 18 pullets and winter coming on, I didn’t think it worthwhile to try to find customers. I’m finding between 8 and 14 eggs a day, this week. It must be all the fresh air. ;>

    • 12.21.11 8:26 PM

      Thanks Deb! We just bought 200 already-laying hens this past week and our numbers are going up already with having a younger flock on the farm ;) I’ll definitely let you know if we need more, you can feel free to sell your eggs through us if you would like. Email me mail{at}aftonfieldfarm{com} and we can talk more ;)

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