They haven’t gone completely on strike, but they’ve really backed off of production. Yesterday it was one and today there was four. It’s really disappointing since I was ready to start selling and making my first dollars from these hens. I recognized that I have much to learn yet about chickens so I did some research. I understand that extreme heat can cause them to slow in their egg production, but we’ve gone from 20 to one in a day! Well I came across this very informative WEBSITE. I was impressed with the useful information, but what I was most impressed with was that the author of the site is a twenty-something who has been raising chickens since she was nine. She provides a lot of practical information and a long list of great websites.
I am seriously considering letting the chickens free range. I just feel that they will be more contented if they can go beyond their little yard. I tend to also think that a contented animal produces healthier food. Maybe, just maybe, they will produce more! The first thing I’d need to do is to extend the top of the fence so they can’t get into the neighbors’ yards. Speaking of healthier though, I am starting to see evidence of a higher nutrient content in the eggs. In the photo below, please not the orangey coloring of the yolk. Yes the yolk is yellow, but i’ts a deeper yellow than what you’d purchase from the grocery store. When you break the yolk, it’s creamy in consistency rather than just runny. This is evidence that they are getting additional vitamins and nutrients from the grass. Hens who have access to pasture, produce eggs in comparison to USDA data for commercially produced eggs, have:
• 1⁄3 less cholesterol• 1⁄4 less saturated fat• 2⁄3 more vitamin A• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids• 3 times more vitamin E• 7 times more beta carotene
So why would you throw away your money on nutrient deficient, high cholesterol, inhumanely produced eggs?