Winding down for Winter

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Winding down for Winter

Post by CP » 01 Nov 2015, 12:10

Our girls are winding down their egg laying for Winter.
With reduced daylight hours & several also moulting, their laying is tailing off a bit & we're only getting on average 5 eggs a day from 35 hens. (though we do have a few geriatric non-laying ones too)

The 5 new girls, hatched this Summer, are laying well though, but very small eggs as yet.
We usually get just about enough laying through the Winter to supply the family but not enough to sell, unfortunately.

I'm not looking forward to freezing weather that brings the possibility of snow. :snowman It never used to worry me too much until we lived somewhere a little more rural & we were snowed-in for around a week, 2 years in succession. Now, I will NOT drive in it as it scares me to death! :shock: (I know I am a wimp. :oops: )

We've had a little building work to the house this Summer, which meant the girls were confined to one end of their run so it will be good to get the fencing & electric fence sorted over the next few weeks & finally let them back in the area that was closed off to them. It has overgrown a little but it won't be long before they whip it into shape (decimate it!) again, I'm sure. ;)

For me, Winter can pass the sooner the better & I always look forward to Spring! Perhaps I should hibernate?? :-k :sunny:
Happy in Hampshire!

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Dutch Bantam Cockerel
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Re: Winding down for Winter

Post by Henwife » 02 Nov 2015, 10:33

I suspect that the guinea fowl flock may decrease this winter - most of them are now getting on a bit, but they all sleep up the apple tree regardless of weather. One idiot managed to go really broody before I noticed her and last week hatched two, one white, one brown. The former disappeared within 24 hours and the latter a couple of days later. The cock birds were rather better at 'mothering' but I know exactly why I have always used an incubator for them.
The fat, idle labradors have finally realised that rabbits can be caught and eaten (tho' road kill is less effort). A bit late in the day, but better than just watching them I suppose.
I carry on digging holes - the Industrial Museum has asked whether we would donate a couple of the iron cams that we extracted the wheelpit, which we're thrilled about - aparently a first for Wales. We have an enthusiastic group who turn up each week, complete with archaeologist, to dig another section and deal with all the recording which is a bonus. One advantage of it not being a time constrained dig is that if it rains, they don't have to turn out!
It's not so much the weather I dread in winter, but the fact that being indoors I have no excuse not to deal with the mounds of paperwork that accumulate.
Guinea fowl & a lot of surplus poultry equipment.

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Re: Winding down for Winter

Post by Moriarty » 02 Nov 2015, 17:14

It's still warm here but autumn is definitely upon us. I'm chicken=sitting a friend's 10 hens that she brings over here. They know the garden well and apart from a few tussles with my resident flock they all get on OK. However, with a total of 18 laying hens, I'm getting an average of four a day. Today I got six, yesterday I got three. They're all clean, mite free, free-ranging all over and healthy but egglaying is definitely down.

I'm getting set for winter - waterproofing the feedbins which are outside. Trying to work out a shelter to put the feeding bowls under so they don't get soaked in the rain. A cheap plastic table has worked fine but blows away in the wind. I need to find something more secure and windproof. The Green Frog coop holds up fine in the rain and has proved an excellent purchase. The original home-made coop which is now 7 years old needs a few nails and a lot of creosote and might not last the winter.

With the clocks going back I always feel a bit despondent, like it's the end of something. Then the darker nights .... but I count down to December 21 which is the shortest day. Once that's gone then I'm instantly brighter, as the days are getting longer and we're counting down to spring.
my chooks: Sage&Onion, Roger the randy cockerel, Squawkbox, Bonnie 'N' Clyde, Pancakes, Custard, Omelette & EggNog. Plus four garden cats and another half dozen feral ones that I feed. And a nursery of pipistrelle bats in the verandah roof ..

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