This last week I had to cull one of our older bantam hens. She had a tumor in an inappropriate place (I won't go into details as they are somewhat gross) and it was time to let her go.
After coming in from feeding and telling the HHWB (Hired-Hand-With-Benefits) the news, I just shook my head. All of them are getting older, I stated, then went on to recount how this one's eggs were not high quality any more, or that one's almost quit laying except if the moon is in the right phase and I'm standing on my head. Then I couldn't believe what came out of the HHWB's mouth....Maybe we should get a few replacements? Maybe it would stimulate the older girls to have some younger ones around? Just a few? This from the man who is all for "downsizing" around Oleo Acres this year.
We had read in the newspaper that the feed store would only have chicks available for this weekend...with a two for one sale to clear out the remainders of the Spring Chick Days. Well, OK...we wanted to go out for breakfast so why don't we just go and look to see what breeds they have in? Famous last words as you can see from the photos below:...
We came home with two Jersey Giants, two Brown Leghorns, and two Rhode Island Reds - all pullets. :)
Years ago, I had a small egg business here with just over 70 laying hens of various breeds. I have also bred and shown both Speckled Sussex and true Ameraucanas. But all that chicken dander finally got to my asthma, so after some rumination I decided to just have enough hens for us and a few friends.That's worked out fine, but now it was either get more chickens or give up having farm fresh eggs. Shudder the thought.
The HHWB has seen me many times stand in front of the egg department at local grocery stores for the better part of 30 minutes inspecting eggs in cartons. Yup. I'm that picky about what we eat. Plus, I know when you see a carton of eggs with some of the eggs "pointy side up", it means the dozen has been manipulated by store help - taking the broken ones out and replacing them from other cartons to make a dozen of salable eggs. A clear sign of someone tampering with those eggs. I won't bore you here with thoughts about all the cracked eggs I find either.
Long story short...we now have a few replacements on-deck. Maybe you older gals better take notice. I hear Campbell's is looking for a few "retired" layers for a soup they're working on...