It's been a long winter so far for my hens. The last egg we had from them was at half term in October and they have not provided us with any breakfast since! But this week they have started again and we are glad to see our free range and organic beauties back on the menu!
The reason why the girls have been off the lay in the winter months is because the daylight length is too short. They need to have about 13-14 hours daylight each day to continue laying through the winter. In commercial hen houses they have electric lights that keep the chickens on the go.
If you follow my blogs you will know that last year I rigged a solar panel, car battery and some low power LEDs to give them the light but it was only moderately successful as there was so little sunshine the battery went flat in January and never charged sufficiently again.
This year I decided to give the ladies a well earned break, as they would have in the wild, and they have again rewarded me with the delicious oval delights that we love so much.
In the picture is my 'egg skelter' which helps us use the oldest eggs first, as you take one egg off the end, the others roll down the track. Not really a problem at the moment as we are only getting one or two a day but when the season gets fully underway we can expect about 5-6 some days and then we need to keep on top of things.
Ahh, I can almost feel the whiff of spring in the air!!