I have really, really missed egg time this winter. The first two winters that we had chickens, they laid pretty well right through the winter. That's the nice thing about those spring chicks- they don't start laying until the end of summer and they often don't take a winter break. But when they get older, they think they deserve a winter off!
We could provide them with lighting of course, to trick them into laying during the darker days, but that would mean running electricity out to the coops....and we just haven't been inspired to do that. Or maybe we are just lazy! Also, maybe those chickens are right after all. Maybe they do need a break, just like we do!
But now the eggs are rolling in again, I am happy to say. We are averaging 5-6 per day, from sixteen hens. Actually, when I type those numbers, it feels very unimpressive! I mean, what the heck were the other ten hens doing all day that they couldn't lay an egg??? Must make a note to have a little "chat" with them!
I think that number will go up though, if last year was any indication. Last April, we were absolutely swamped with eggs. We were giving them away by the dozen to anyone who came by, and I really do mean anyone. Some people left with as many as 3 dozen (!) and we still had plenty left over for lots of egg breakfasts, angel food cakes and other egg-heavy recipes, and at least a dozen boiled eggs a week. A dozen hard-boiled eggs is so nice to have in the refrigerator! I boiled my first dozen of the season today.
These are great to have for quick breakfasts, snacks, sandwiches, chopping up in salads.... I love a salad this time of year with leafy greens, chopped hard-boiled egg, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper. So good!
This year, I will probably still be handing a dozen eggs to anyone who comes by, but I also plan to freeze many more than we did last year. We had to buy eggs for most of the winter, which is a real drag when you have two coops full of idle chickens! Also, though, we have those spring chicks coming and I have my fingers crossed that they will lay all winter.