Friday, March 16, 2012

it's a miracle!

Princess Winifred has not laid an egg since June 17, 2011.  How do I know??  Well, that was the day after we brought the girls back from Scandia and their 9 month stint at Chicken Camp.  I'm sure they  had a fantastic time at camp - they made new friends, had easy access to all the weeds and bugs they could ever want, and were spoiled just a bit by their foster mom Sue.

So, when we brought our four chickens home to Minneapolis, Winnie was probably stressed by the move, missed her new chicken friends, and was situated firmly at the bottom of the pecking order once again.  She displayed her dismay by withholding eggs.  She laid the one that was "in the pipeline" when we brought them home, then shut 'er down.  She has been purely decorative for the past 9 months.

We had recently noticed that her comb and wattles were turning darker red (a sign that hormones are kicking in) but didn't dare hope that she might start producing again.  Well, on Wednesday I saw her camped out in the nesting box.  At first I thought she was just hanging out in there to avoid being around her squawky sisters, but lo and behold, she actually did lay a beautiful, perfect, tiny egg. Yay Winnie! 

Ray has been laying steadily since she finished molting this fall (I'll save that crazy story for another time) and Stella recently started laying again after a winter hiatus.  Now that we have about 12 hours of daylight, we're back in full production.  Each hen is laying fewer eggs, about 1 every 2 days, but we're thrilled!  I hated buying eggs at the grocery store this winter!!

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