When we had our 3 Warrens (Isa Browns/Gingernut Rangers etc) they didn't stop laying during Winter, but Amber our one remaining brown hen only laid 3 eggs at the beginning of January and another 3 at the beginning of February, but she is about three and a half years old now and she was moulting, then she had two new chickens to share her territory with, which she may have found stressful. We did wonder if, having laid an egg nearly every day for a couple of years, she might not have many eggs left in her.
On Wednesday last week, 29th February, Amber and Anna both went up to the nest box. I thought Anna was about to lay and Amber was being nosey - perhaps she was hoping for an egg to eat, I thought, even.
Later on I found this in the nest box.
It's not as big as Amber's normal eggs, but its rough shell, with a thin patch at the bottom made me inclined to think it was hers.
|The egg on the left is a large shop-bought egg, on the right is Amber's egg|
On Thursday Amber and Anna went into the nest box again, but Amber was in and out and up and down the ladder. Something, I think it was a chicken-made sound caused me to go out and look in the nest box. There I found Anna gently prodding a very small, smooth pinkish brown egg with Amber and Bella in attendance.
Was Amber sharing Anna's proud moment? Did Bella want to know what was happening? What thoughts go through a chicken's brain at a moment like this?
|Anna's egg is the one to the right of Amber's and the large one from the shop|
Friday I found another of Amber's eggs in the nest box, which was much more like her usual size, i.e. bigger than very large and too big for an egg box. Although I checked again at about 12.15 hubby found a small reddish brown egg in the nest box when he got home in the evening.
So, we thought our new chickens had started to lay, but we wondered if Amber would just lay a few eggs and then rest again for most of the month, but we've had to think again. So far this month we have had more eggs from Amber than from our new chickens. She's laying regularly every other day, whereas the pullets' laying pattern is more sporadic - one last Thursday and Friday then nothing until yesterday morning and two more today.