5.07.2012

Of Chickens

Ok, so no one really told me, nor have I read, exactly how long chickens live. I have no idea. Also, no one ever really told me, or did I read, how long chickens lay eggs. Let me explain why I am bringing this up, and later I will give you my conclusion.

My chickens haven't given me eggs in weeks. They are 2 years old. Once I heard someone say the phrase "chicken period" and I understood that chickens were born with all the eggs they would ever have, just like a human. And their lifespan is substantially shorter, of course. Even though I don't know how long to expect my girls to live, I do expect that they will go through "chicken menopause" and stop laying eggs.

So, this prompted the discussion of "What do we do with the chickens?" We don't have room to keep them and get new chickens, so the old ones would have to go. I can't do it. I named them. They would have to go somewhere to get their heads chopped. But where? The only kill shop/private butcher I know of is almost 3 hours away. Do I want to drive that far for 3 chickens? No. So what to do?? No eggs means those girls are not earning their keep.

UNTIL........ I discovered a pecked at egg, with the yolk spilled out, and Dorothy looking at me like, What? Don't you cannibalize your eggs???? Those little bitches are eating the eggs! So I tossed a golf ball into each laying box in hopes that when they try to peck them, they will discover that the balls are not edible, and they will stop eating eggs.

And if they do keep eating the eggs, I may just kill them myself anyways!

10 comments:

  1. If you have a river or a beach pick some shells for them to peck at - they're looking for calcium, and if they don't have enough they'll after their own eggs.

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    1. Thanks! I will add some to their food.

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  2. O.M.G.! LOLOLOL

    We have our first set of laying hens, 4 weeks old, so I have yet to experience all this fun stuff....but I swear I thought I read somewhere some 'reasons' why they might do that to their own heads. But the hell if I could remember what those reasons were!

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    1. Hahahahaha! Of course I have read some reasons also, but the hell if I can remember either!

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  3. Perhaps you can devise a contraption that is basically a padded funnel beneath them so when they lay the eggs it slides down out of pecking reach. Lay straw over it so they rest on straw but the egg passes down. IDK. I would be thinking of things if I was a chicken owning kind of guy....

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    1. I am not sure if I am inventive or creative enough to come up with that contraption. But thanks for the idea! It is definitely worth thinking about.

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  4. Unfortunately we don't usually don't have any single chicken more than three years old as they usually disappear into the local wildlife KFC bucket before then. But I'm pretty sure they should be laying for five years (friend's did).

    Egg eaters are, as I'm sure you well know now, B.A.D. Chickens! In my limited experience, once they get the yummy taste of egg yolk it's almost impossible to break them of the habit. I would second The Stay's suggestion, but how much time / $$ you want to spend trying to construct an "egg drop" thing would really make me take another look at putting the culprit in the soup pot.

    Our neighbors just discovered an egg eater in their flock of four and had enough of them. They even called me over the weekend to ask me if I wanted ALL of them (for free!!) but I'd have to figure out which was the egg-eater. And I said "No Thanks". Yes, me, cheapskate will take anything for free.

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    1. I know that this problem won't be easily corrected, if it ever will be... Oy vay... I don't think I can put them in the soup pot though. I mean, other than my own personal issues with it, I don't know the first thing about killing a chicken! What if I did it wrong? What if it wasn't quick? Oy vay....

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  5. Made me teary to think of chopping off their heads, but made me laugh at Dorothy's "comment". It also makes me glad I don't own chickens :-)

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    1. yeah... I agree... Don't ever own them! They are great, but they are headaches too!

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