Coming into lay

We’ve had eggs from two of the Famous Five in recent days … almost certainly from Charlie and from Carey. But this morning, I also  found two soft eggs under the roosting bars of the Cube … perhaps the hens were taken short when a first egg made it’s appearance?!

If so, that’s four of the Famous Five now laying – their eggs will get stronger and larger over the next couple of weeks, as have Charlie’s. Carey’s were ‘normal’ from the beginning, but I think she was already in lay when she came to us. To help with the shells, I will add some limestone flour to the rice along with the Flubenvet for the next few days.

We started the worm treatment because of Carey’s sneezing and the appearance of a couple of droppings. I didn’t hear Carey sneeze once this morning – I wonder if it’s because it’s raining? Does she have a reaction to the dust in the woodchip? There would almost certainly have been other hens with symptoms by now if it were an infection 😕 Nor have we had a repeat of the droppings … red, but not with blood (which would be an indication of a coccidia infection which is highly contagious) … we’ve seen them before when we suspect the girls have worms.

So I’m hopeful we’ll be OK. But I’m not taking any risks until I’m certain so we’ll continue to run the three separate broods for a few weeks yet.

As for the rest of the girls’ eggs … one of the Vicarage girls is laying regularly, a lovely, firm-shelled egg. In the past few days we’ve also had a couple of thin-shelled/soft eggs, so I suspect three of the four are laying, and I’m almost certain Betsy is not laying.

In the greenhouse, we have a broody, but have still had 3 or 4 eggs most days 🙂 A couple of my regular customers have expressed a preference for bantam eggs, so for now I have enough to sell a few boxes from time to time.

But oh, the mud … it’s raining again, and the ground is almost instantly saturated once more. I’ve had to move the Moppets’ fencing again, not because of lack of grass but because the ground was sodden.  I do hope we might have a dry, warm summer this year.

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    Our original hen keeping adventure came to an end in January 2013, when a fox took our entire brood of hens. But don’t let that put you off … you can find the story at The Hen House Archive where there are still lots of stories, photos, and information about keeping hens I hope you'll find useful.

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