Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Low Egg Production

To all of my valued customers, just wanted to let you know for the past couple of weeks and I anticipate in the near future (as long as temps stay over 100 degrees consistently) our egg production is very low. Over 90 laying hens and I am getting only 2 dozen eggs. I have read a couple of studies from Ag colleges and it confirmed my suspision that heat is extremely stressful to the hens and greatly impacts their laying abilities. They are hot so they eat less and these two factors cause them to lack the energy needed to lay eggs. While I have fans in all of my chicken coops, it is still not quite enough. Better because I have not lost any birds, but still, I mean I know it is harder for me to daily chores when it is hot so I can just imagine how they feel. The bottom line is I will keep you posted about egg availability and I am sorry for the inconveinence!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chicken Independence Day

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend. We decided that weekend that our nearly 3 month old chicks had grown enough to safely leave the chicken tractor during the day and venture out into their grassy yard surrounded by electric chicken netting. As you can see from the picture they love it! A side benefit of the chicken tractor has been that my rescued Anatolian Shepard/Great Pyrenees dog Murphy has bonded with the chicks and takes his job of guarding them very seriously. Both breeds that are in Murphy's lineage are livestock guardian dogs. You often see these breeds out in the fields guarding sheep, goats and other small livestock from predators. What is really interesting is that Murphy has never been trained to protect livestock. In fact when Murphy was rescued by the Anatolian Shepard Rescue group, he was starving and weighed only 50 pounds. When we adopted him a couple of years ago he was 80 pounds. To tell you how extreme that is, Murphy now weighs over 165 pounds. It is truly amazing to me that with dogs, their breed instincts are born in them. When you come by to purchase your eggs from the self serve fridge you can see the girls in their tractor and yard, Murphy, and his brothers and sisters too. Nearly all of my dogs are rescues and Murphy's brothers and sisters are different breeds including a Lab and Great Dane.

Well for now due to the demand for eggs from my customers and Windmill Farm of Gridley's CSA customers, I have suspended my participation at the Glenn County farmers market. While I am happy for the business, I will miss the market and meeting all of the wonderful folks who support it. However, I may be receiving more adult hens in August to increase the flock and egg production, but at the very least my 100 new chicks should be laying this fall to total nearly 200 birds laying. Again, I would like to thank all of my customers for your continuing support. Stay cool!