Tag Archives: pastured

Broody Hen

This is a dorky video, but this young hen wants to be a mommy SO badly, yet she is well behaved and does not peck or bite me when i collect the eggs beneath her, so i thought i’d share with you how a broody hen reacts when disturbed.

If i had a purebred Welsummer rooster, i’d let her lay and set on some fertilized eggs so she could raise some chicks, but i don’t.  Of course, these eggs are not fertilized and will never develop embryos.  These Welsummers, purchased from Cacklehatchery, are the most entertaining, friendly (though are easily startled), beautiful hens i’ve ever raised.  They are excellent layers to boot.

 

I had a few repairs to make to the eggmobile since its high profile encourages it to be blown over in heavy winds, which we seem to get more of these past few years.  I have rigged a way to support it so it doesn’t blow over anymore.

Anyway, collected these few eggs a bit early in the day because it’s a bit wet and muddy and the hens sometimes come into the nesting boxes with muddy feet, soiling the eggs.

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Truly pastured hens protected from ground predation with Premier 1 Supplies’ PoultryNet.  This is the best netting i’ve found for performance and ease of handling.  I bought two of the 100 foot green rolls (product number 207001).  It is still a bit heavy.  They also offer a 50 foot version (207002).  They also offer the plastic nesting pads which are excellent – forget straw, paper, chips – these keep the eggs cleaner and the hens can’t scratch them out of place.  Item #5404120

 

 

 

 

They’re Laying!!!

Back home and starting to get settled into regular chores and a few moving ahead projects.  Despite coming home to sub zero temps, 1/4 inch ice, and swirling snow, just two days later it is starting to melt and at 33 degrees F (headed to 44F just before dark), it’s not too bad outside.

While i was gone, my silly Welsummer hens began laying – thank goodness – they are about 7 months old and until this past week had laid not one single egg!  Apparently, they had not read the book that they are a breed which starts laying at 5-6 months.  Granted, i am willing to give them a pass because i did accept them after June 8 (because of Nathan and Heather’s wedding and knowing we would be gone, i didn’t want baby chicks around), so that put them going into the shorter days which is typically when hens start laying fewer eggs.  And these gals are truly pastured hens and never on a high powered ration.  But when 6 months rolled around, i’m thinking they ought to be laying something!  I  checked them and most had developed the visible and measurable signs of being mature enough – yet no eggs.

Here’s the lovely dozen eggs i found this morning!  In the photo, the lighter colored one is from a purchased dozen of eggs from the store which say they are on pasture.  Here’s the interesting part, that store bought egg is considered a large egg yet is very similar in size and weight of these first eggs laid by my hens.  In other words, my hens didn’t start with pullet sized eggs, they started in with mediums and larges!  And beautiful shell color.

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Remember that the color of the shell has nothing to do with the quality of the egg nor does it tell you anything about how the hen was raised. The color of the yolk can be darkened by the ration fed to a caged hen  (marigold and/or corn).  Anyway, my hen’s eggs were all frozen, so these first ones will have to be thrown away since they could be contaminated because of cracking.  But maybe we’ll get some today to collect.

Stay warm and have fun!

tauna

Welsummer pullets hard at work keeping spiders and crickets from getting into the house last fall (2019).