Also, it has rained for the majority of the last three days. The ground is pretty wet and it is starting to get muddy in some areas. It made me think back to how wet the winter was last year and how muddy the chicken area got then. It looks like we will have the same type of weather this year.
Both issues lead to one solution, downsizing the flock. I think the stocking density is too great for the area we have. I think the chickens are flying out to find more bugs and plants to eat. So this morning I decided it was time to get rid of some of the chickens. I asked my coworker if she would like to buy my three best egg layers. Selling the three best egg layers may sound like the wrong way to go, but it makes sense to me. The three worst layers (or the three that I do not believe lay at all) are the three my son picked out for his birthday. They are three of the family's favorites. I can't get rid of Chipette. I also promised my Rhode Island Red or New Hampshire (whichever variety she is) and my Australorp to my wife's aunt. They lay, but I think they lay medium size eggs. So that leaves the 4 white ones. Three are plain white and not visibly appealing to my wife. They are also the biggest eaters of feed. Two nights ago I threw a tomato into the yard for them to find the next morning and one jumped out of the coop and ate it. It was almost 8 and pretty dark by then. They are the alphas and eat first at the feeder. So my thought is this might change up the pecking order, help the younger chickens to start laying, and stop the flock from wandering around. Perhaps not on the last part, but I need to do something before a neighbor gets upset.
We may not get enough eggs to sell, but we will have enough for ourselves and really that is what matters for me at this time. The egg production is starting to wind down with the shortening of the day anyway. It makes more financial sense to eliminate some of the flock. I am probably getting to well more than $4/dozen on our production now. I have not been home enough in the past three weeks to really count the daily egg production to know.