Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hens on Stike! And a "spicy" experiement!

Our hens are not laying eggs.
They have not laid one single egg since the beginning of November.
Now, this isn't really unusual.
Our girls have always molted right about then, which means no eggs.
And then winter begins, which means no eggs.

But this year is different.
They are being stubborn.

We like to give our girls a break in the winter.
I mean, really it isn't totally healthy for them to lay year-round.
Letting them "chill" out and not lay during the winter months gives them longer lives and extends their laying periods (at least in our experience).


It's been warmer than usual this winter. I mean, 52 degrees on January 31st in Northern Michigan is a bit mild, you know?
And we put a light in the coop at the beginning of the month.
So we gave them a two-month rest period before expecting hoping they would lay again.

And they haven't.
I think they are on strike.

So we're doing a little experiment.
I checked around the forums on my favorite chicken information site: Backyard Chickens
It seems that some people have had success kick-starting their chickens laying by feeding them red pepper flakes or ground red pepper.
So we're trying it.  
Everything I've researched says it can't hurt.

Today is day three of feeding them a special cornbread treat with a secret ingredient (red pepper flakes).
So far....nothing.
I'll keep you posted.


Jen said...

I'm interested to hear if the red pepper mixture works! We gave our chickens their break from Sept to Nov when they were molting. And yes, it's been an awesomely mild winter - even here in Maine! Thank you for swinging by my blog!

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