Over the summer, our backyard chickens really slowed down on their egg production. I figured it was the heat. But lo and behold, they started molting. This is when they lose a lot of feathers and egg laying slows down because it takes a lot of energy to grow new feathers. Well, at first I thought they were dying. They looked awful and well, they had lost a lot of feathers so they were looking skinny and unhealthy. And I guess they’d molted before because we’d noticed loss of feathers in the past, but not to this degree. A little research (Google answers all my questions!) and I discovered this was completely normal for the time of year.
Well, we patiently waited for them to start laying again. And then we impatiently waited. Adam wanted to cook them up for Thanksgiving. Seriously, if I’d allowed it, he would’ve made it happen. But no way! We’ve had these chickens for a few years now and they’re more pets than anything. Unless a zombie apocalypse happens and I run out of food. Then it’s winner, winner, chicken dinner.
Anyways, they finally stopped losing feathers and grew back their new ones and now they basically look like hens on steroids. They are huge and healthy looking and complete monsters now. They bock incredibly loud. So loud that I’m afraid my neighbors will call the police on my confused hens who seem to think they’re roosters. And they’ve been bocking early. Like 6:30 am early, and then bock off and on for like an hour. It’s pretty annoying. I’ve discovered that means they want to be let out of their coop to roam. And eat. They eat incessantly. And they started laying eggs again. And their eggs are enormous. And the shells are strong. I read that after molting, the quality of the eggs is much better. And it’s so true! Before, their shells were getting thin but now, it’s such a difference. They’re like whole new hens! It makes me wonder if someone experimented on them while I wasn’t looking because these hens are vocal, hungry and huge.
Now that I have an abundance of eggs again, it’s time to make more egg dishes. Here are some of my favorite recipes to use eggs in:
Vanilla Bean Croissant French Toast
Chicken Apple Hash with Fried Eggs
And for those of you who’ve thought about trying out the backyard chicken thing, I recommend it! If you have cool neighbors. And if you don’t, a carton of eggs will usually put a smile on their face. But seriously, they’re an easy, manageable pet, and their poop makes great fertilizer!