When your chickens are moulting and having a break from laying, you miss the eggs but you understand the girl’s need for a rest.
When your chickens are back in full egg production, you appreciate those eggs and get used to having freshly laid eggs daily.
You get used to watching the girls stop whatever they were doing and rush to the nesting boxes with a sense of purpose.
You get used to having an egg or two nestled in the wood shavings when you lift the lid of the nesting box each day.
You get used to walking smugly past the egg aisle in the supermarket.
You get used to reaching into the fridge each time you need an egg for cooking or baking or even a quick meal.
You get used to lovingly placing eggs into an egg carton and proudly giving them to your friends and family.
Until one day, they stop laying in the middle of the laying season. The anticipation and excitement is suddenly gone and is replaced by worry.
Have my chickens stopped laying?
Could my chickens be laying in the bushes?
Could my chickens be sick?
How can all three hens stop laying at once?
No more eggs in my nesting boxes for more than a week. So I shut the girls up in their coop until the afternoon for a week and then had to shut Hannah Hen up full time for a few more days until I could see if they were actually laying or not. They were laying, but very sporadically.
But a few weeks on and the girls are now back to their normal egg production and laying in the nesting boxes. The anticipation and excitement is back as I look in the nesting boxes each day. I no longer take my freshly laid eggs for granted and I don’t just expect them to be there each day.
So what was it that caused this hiccup in my chicken’s egg production? It took one of my readers to point out what probably caused my girls to go off the lay. A few days before they all stopped laying, a possum was found in their hen house, all curled up asleep in one of their nesting boxes.