Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Egg Production Halted ~ Gratitude ~ The Pioneer Lady's Country Christmas

What you see in this basket is not from our hens.  They are from the pullets we bought this past spring.  They are shooting out eggs like there is no tomorrow, however our 1 year-old, and 2 year-old hens are not laying.

They stopped laying about 2 months ago, when I saw that they were molting.  I did some research and read that chickens will stop laying while they molt, and need the energy to produce new feathers.  And from what I read, it takes the hens about 2 months to start laying again.

We treated the water with organic apple cider vinegar to make sure they did not have worms.  We also fed them oyster shells, to ensure they were getting enough calcium to produce eggs, just in case we are wrong.  

It is getting colder here, so that makes it tougher for us to determine the cause. The daylight is decreasing as well.  I hope to start seeing some eggs from the hens, even if it's one or two.  I'd like to be reassured that they are not sick.   On a good note, they all appear energetic and healthy.

 Today I am thankful for:

~ hot medicinal teas
~ homemade vapo-rub
~ books
~ soft kleenex
~ my cozy flannel jammies and warm socks
~ Mom and Cousin coming for a visit today
~ God's Grace

I woke up feeling a bit better, thankfully.  These last two days were not good.  I hate not feeling myself.   I still have a slight bit of congestion hanging on, and a cough, but overall a bit better.  I read through some craft books I borrowed from the library, and a really fun book - The Pioneer Lady's Country Christmas, by Jane Watson Hopping.  This book is packed with recipes, stories, and even crafting instructions.  Wowza is right.  I don't even think I will have time to finish reading all of it before I have to return it.  I found lots of good recipes to try, and have been enjoying it thus far.  There is even a crochet pattern I would like to try.

The kids however, need to be more respectful when I am resting.  I was bolted out of a deep sleep by the screaming voice of my 14 year-old, that comes with the "after school" energy bursts.  

However, when I woke up, I found that Sadie and Jesse were both at my feet.  Sadie never gets in my bed, on account of her bad hip.  And here she was, mothering me to health.  Aw, such sweet dogs.  I am sure Alias would have have joined, but Jesse is having anxiety issues and not letting him get all of my kisses and hugs.  He'll get over it.  During the morning hours, it was Jasper (cat) who was warming my feet and watching over me.

I am thankful I was stocked up on certain items while down for the count.  With Hubby working over time, I don't always have an extra hand to help me.  Living in the boonies doesn't help either.

While I was in bed, recovering, we had a frost.  I have not brought in my basil or rosemary.  Phooey.  The weather should be a bit warmer, so if it is still thriving, that will be first on my list of chores.


Sam I Am...... said...

SO sorry to hear you've been ill. Especially at this busy time of year. The book looks wonderful...I think we have the same taste in books like that. My rosemary lasts outside here all winter but not the basil. I bring it in every year but can never keep it alive...what's your secret? Hope you feel better soon!

Energy Creations said...

Hope you feel better soon!

Energy Creations said...

I just saw a copy of that on ebay for $4.00!

Cris said...

It sure sounds like your older hens are working through the molt. My girls take at least two months, sometimes three, to bounce back from molting. It seems to depend a bit on the weather, as well, and this year its been very much fluctuating which stresses the ladies as well. I have one that just started molting, and she looks horrible--she's almost naked, and it has been COLD! I don't think she's gone out of the hen house in two weeks. Poor thing! Sometimes, they don't really start back laying well before the darkness hits and they taper off, anyway, but I find that plugging in a very low wattage bulb and having it turn on a couple hours before dawn really helps with that issue. Good luck!

Michelle said...

Mine are molting too. I have 10 chickens and only getting 1 egg a day. Now at least I know what to expect. Thank for sharing.

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

I never have a problem with basil in the house, but I do with rosemary. I kill it almost every year indoors. This year I am bringing in rain water in jugs. I hope to dig it up today, if it's still alive.

RUA2J said...

iF YOU FEED YOUR LAYERS A HIGH PROTEIN CAT FOOD THEY WILL COME OUT OF THE MOULT MUCH FASTER! Sorry about the caps-I always seem to hit the button! The cat food cuts the molt time over half! It seems they need the extra protein to replace the feathers. Hope this helps.