Pages

Saturday, 9 January 2021

The Day -to- Day

 It is currently 1 degree out, "feels like" -1 degree. I don't know if other parts of the world get a "feels like" add on to their weather forecast. In the winter we have wind chill. That means it might be -10 degrees (this is all celsius) but it might "feel like"  -20 degrees. That basically tells you that you need to cover parts of your face for fear of frostbite if you are out too long. In the summer we have the humidex. Does anyone else have humidex readings? That means it might actually be 28 degrees, but with the humidex it "feels like" 33 degrees. That basically tells you that you are going to have to forget about straightening your hair and you're going to sweat through your bra in a half an hour. 


Regardless, it's not too bad out. I just got back from the Co-op where I did my drive by / pick up of a bag of layer crumble and a bale of course shavings. Right before our last lockdown (Dec. 26th) I bought a bag of layer mash because they didn't have any layer crumble. It's a huge waste of money. The chickens don't like it and they just pick out the bits that they do tolerate. Now they are happy as chickens can be, pecking away at their crumble and scratching around in a new bed of shavings. I have eight hens. I get one egg a day. They are well past molting and they are warm and dry and nobody's sick. They aren't brand new, nor are they too old. I go out in the morning and turn on their lightbulb. They have a large coop that they can walk around in, roost in, drink from their heated water bucket in... in essence, live the best life a chicken in Canada can live. They are a bunch of free loaders. But I won't eat them, and I won't give them away, because I still have hope. I hope that in the spring, when the days are longer and they can go out in their chicken run and scratch around in the overabundance of leaves that I dumped there in the fall, that I will be surprised by eggs in their nesting boxes once again. One can hope.


53 comments:

  1. You just wrote describing the same situation as we currently have with our chickens. At least the egg laying (or should we say non-egg laying) part. We haven't even fed them what they deem undesirable food! The molt has long been over and as we started to get one, maybe two eggs a day, we thought we were back in egg gathering business. Nope. Our dozen hens haven't kicked it into gear yet. Our temps have been hovering right around freezing during the day for weeks, going down into the mid to high 20s (F) at night. What's with these birds??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm actually strangely happy to hear it's happening for someone else, too. I know these birds aren't too old. I've had much older Rhode Island Reds who laid far beyond these.

      Delete
  2. We have "feels like" here too....at least -10C last night and I wasn't going out to see what it felt like!!
    We get eggs from our neighbour over the road...bartered for jam and chutney...his shed chooks are still on strike, but the free range have started laying again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel like we've had a pretty "easy" winter so far, weather wise anyhow.

      Delete
  3. We get a "feels like" weather forecast here too which is hilarious as its never ever Really cold!
    As for the chickens - depends on the breed and the age, We used to keep up to 180 hens - a hybrid breed to keep laying well for about 18 months, then slow down. Pure breeds don't lay in the winter and all hens need about 14+ hours of daylight to lay well. We used to have lights on a timer. But we were keeping them to sell eggs all year round so it was worth the cost

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have four brown hens that would be like your commercial hens. I have two columbian rock hens and two barred rock hens. I think it's one of the brown hens that I'm getting my one egg from.

      Delete
  4. Jenn, we had the same issue with our hens last year. THey moulted, and then never started laying again. We gave them to a neighbor, and got new chicks. The neighbor kept them w while but they never started laying again. I have heard this story over and over and am beginning to wonder if there is either something in the feed or if they are now bred to only lay for a couple years. It's very strange. Our new chicks started laying in July and then we added more chicks in August and they're laying now, so we're getting dozen or more eggs a day from about 20 hens. But I really wonder what will happen next winter. I want to add some green and blue egg layers this year so at least we'll have new girls to pick up the slack if need be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, that is VERY interesting! I've had times when I had so many eggs I was giving some away and selling a dozen here and there. This is the first time I've had such a decrease in egg production. I'd love to have some "easter eggers"!!

      Delete
  5. Wish we could have chickens, but there are just too many hungry wild critters around here. It would be too hard to protect them. Sounds like yours have a good life!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do have a pretty good life. They go out in their run which is fully fenced, but not over the top of it. We've not had many problems with predators. The main thing is to make sure that they are always closed up in their coop at night.

      Delete
  6. We get "feels like", which is pretty useful for deciding on the day's wardrobe. At the hot end of the scale we can have some pretty crazy variance, too. The humidex would be a fun addition, I wonder how we put in an order with the Bureau ... I've been waiting ages for some chicken-chat. Glad to hear the free-loaders are doing well.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yep Saskatchewan gets the "feels like" as well. When it hits the "feels like" -40 we pretty much all hibernate.

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhh, but it's a dry cold! Or is it a dry heat?? I had an aunt and uncle and cousins from Regina who would come to Ontario for a few weeks in the summer and they always distinguished Western weather from ours.

      Delete
  8. We've got the same chicken issue here, Jenn, in upstate New York. They molted and now look beautiful. We expect fewer eggs in the winter but after going weeks with none, we're getting one or two a day - and this is from 20 hens. We can't get rid of them as they're more pets than livestock. All we can do is hope!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's my situation, too! You are now the third person to comment that you are experiencing the same thing with your chickens. Conspiracy! Haha.

      Delete
  9. When I was snow-carving in Quebec City it was -30, but the wind brought it down to -40. Down in Toronto, -10 felt like a balmy English day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Quebec winters can be especially brutal. We have had a relatively mild winter so far, but it's only January. This too could change.

      Delete
  10. As Jackie mentioned we have the same feels like temperatures. At the moment it's -11C feeling like -18C. Definitely a night to stay indoors.

    We had chickens when I was kid but the only thing I really remember about them was when they were butchered. It wasn't pretty.

    Take care, stay well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have only raised meat birds once, and we weren't the ones who did the butchering. Minus 18 is cold enough!

      Delete
  11. Do you feel that we have been getting off lightly so far this winter? Very little snow to shovel (here at least) and temperatures hovering just a little below freezing. Hope I haven't jinxed things and called down the snow gods! Love your chooks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it has been pretty "mild" so far. We've had one big dump of snow, right at Christmas in fact, which was fine since we weren't driving anywhere. So far none of those incredibly cold, -20 days!

      Delete
  12. Our weatherman always gives a feels-like number. We have 11 hens now and are getting three eggs a day and those are from the new hens. The old ones finally got through molting but haven't started back laying. I could never give the older ones away or eat then. Not after all the eggs they have given us and gosh, they are like pets. I used to buy the laying mash but switched to the crumble. Like you said, not so much waste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You, too?? O.k., this is getting weird! Do you think it's some kind of devious plot dreamt up by the chickens?

      Delete
  13. OK, I'm rooting for your hens to occasionally produce two eggs a day now, and two a day per hen come spring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two a day isn't quite possible, but I will pass on your encouragement to them!

      Delete
  14. Here we are..nice and early..Just had brekkie..
    Can't start the day without a fry up..off up to
    the supermarket shortly..Few bits and pieces
    needed..and l think l'll have chicken to~day..
    oooops! Sorry! :)..

    And, I for one steer clear of weather forecasts,
    what an absolute waste of time..AND..money they
    are..using words like..maybe, probably, possibly
    perhaps and so on..Guess work that's all it is..
    Though l have been in love with the weather lady
    on BBC Breakfast for some time..And..we have exchanged
    e~mails...I'll say no more..! :).
    So, if l wanna see what the weather's like..l look out
    the window..! :O)

    Advice...If you wanna get yer chickens to lay..play them
    some music..HeHe! Make sure it's Soul music though..Keep
    them Funky..! :o).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Found this on line...
      Spanish scientists have found that playing classical music to layer hens reduces their stress levels, building on previous studies that show calmer chooks have heavier eggs. Glenys Barker from Homestead Quail says she has been playing classical music to her poultry for years...

      https://www.couriermail.com.au/chickens-who-listen-to-classical-music-lay-bigger-eggs-scientists-find/news-story/1ecf2bb91d09c0492f39857e52b97e3f

      Think l got the style of music wrong...Classical..!

      Delete
  15. Never heard of humidex but you describe it graphically.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our summers get to be very humid because this part of Ontario is tucked in amongst the Great Lakes.

      Delete
  16. I used to live in Quebec and Ontario so I know what you mean. Oh, I just love that you treat your chickens so well! I would love to have some but my life style/situation hasn't made it possible.💖

    ReplyDelete
  17. I totally get the "feels like" about the weather. Yesterday, technically, it wasn't very cold but it "felt" like it was. It's the dampness that makes it worse than it is. Regardless, we bundled up and went for a lengthy stroll after lunch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you! My walks are just to the chicken coop and back - rather lazy these days, as I'm not outside for yard duty at recess time.

      Delete
  18. I think when you love and take care of chickens like you do, they'll gratefully pay you back this spring with beautiful eggs.

    We have "wind chill" and "heat index." I like knowing that -- but sometimes I don't! Enjoy your Sunday.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I much prefer being outside when it's, say, six below than when it's six above zero. I'm told it's because when the air is humid it draws the heat away faster than when it's below freezing and the air is moistureless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For me, it's about sunlight. Being outside on a snapping cold day (i.e. middle of winter, snow all around), is tolerable if the sun is shining.

      Delete
  20. Yes, we get humidity readings and the wind chill readings as well. My husband says whatever the feels like temp is should be the temp. I might agree with him. Our humidity can be exhausting in the summer time here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many people complain about the humidity here, as well. I'm actually o.k. with it.

      Delete
  21. Im having the same issue one egg a day and I have seven hen's. They are just two years old. Dosent get too cold here. Its been in the 40s all week and 30s at night. I didn't think this would happen with the girls since we luve in Georgia. I guess a change in weather is a change for them. Enjoy your posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you commented. I had to look it up, but 40 degree F is about 4 degrees C, so you have 'similar' temperatures to me at the moment. I don't think my Columbians and Barred Rock are even 2 years yet. Very odd.

      Delete
  22. I have nine girls and am also getting one egg a day. I don't worry as it will all change in spring. I am so glad that we don't have your extreme temps though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am loving all of these confirmations that this is not just a situation I am dealing with. I guess because I've always had hens that lay throughout the winter (mostly those regular brown "commercial" ones), and this is my first winter with Columbians and Barred Rocks I just assumed I'd still be getting some eggs. I know they slow down in the winter, but I didn't know there would be an all out strike! ;)

      Delete
  23. Gosh, I do hope that the new Spring will bring you eggs. Either way, the chickens are fun. Enjoy your day, hugs, Edna B.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Just found your blog through Linda H. You have a nice place here:) I would love to try chickens and our town now allows them in backyards. However, I'm not sure my dog would be very nice to them. Good luck with yours this spring!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I've got a lot of faith in those chickens! Have a great week Jen!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have just returned from a weekend with my brother/his family/their nine chickens. I had eggs every day. Oh I am ready to get me a chicken or two.

    ReplyDelete
  27. We get feels like and when we have the wind from the east and north it can be very significant where I live. In summer we get pollen counts with the weather forecast. Hens always go off lay in winter.

    ReplyDelete
  28. For your chickens, you might research putting cayenne pepper in their food or water. Seems it warms them up and they lay better. I found some info on line about it.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Surely it is just a winter rest for your chickens? They are reminding you that they are not machines! If they don't mend their ways then I recommend buying some ducks. My Khaki Campbells were wonderful layers.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I feel so much better after reading your post and the comments. I don't give my hens extra light, since I do like to give them a break, but what the heck! I usually still get at least four eggs a day (I have 18 hens of varying ages) by now. If I'm lucky, I get one, every other day. I will just have to grit my teeth until spring finally arrives.

    ReplyDelete