This week’s musings on the challenges of keeping chickens is brought to you by guest contributor, Sehar Jakupi.
Let’s talk amongst ourselves. Let’s face it, keeping chickens for eggs is not economically feasible today. And the cost of feed and other expenses associated with chicken keeping are quite high. We may tell lies to our other halves/spouses, but we should be honest with ourselves. That bull doesn’t fly here. Like any addict, you have to lie to get what you need, but unlike other addictions, chickens are beneficial to your life in spite of the cost. They take the stress out of your life and make you patient. So the fluff should be legalized everywhere for the benefit of society.
I would like to talk about an embarrassing issue I have called DEL (Dormant Egg Layers). The shame and other feelings associated with being unable to live up to cultural chicken keeping expectations of backyard chicken performance is unbearable. At first, I thought it was all in my mind, but the daily checking of the nest boxes has left me feeling hopeless. Their egg production would not go up. I finally realized that it was a physical issue; I had forgotten to put in a light for the winter.
Some folks let me know how wrong I was, now I have an endless argument brewing. My friends and family say that it’s going to be okay and that egg production will increase with the lengthening of the day, but others say that I should blame it all on Tractor Supply. Unfortunately I’m left feeling like a failure. This has never happened to me before. I hope talking about my embarrassment can help others overcome theirs, and show them that talking about it helps.
Bitchin’ Chicken Followers’ Responses:
My name is Amy and I am a chicken addict. Unfortunately we all have been forced to meet underground to discuss our feelings of failure and concerns. We gather in disguise after midnight on the 4th Tuesday of every month. Please RSVP.
I have found that talking slumlord style of demeaning smack to your dormant layer hens can inspire them. I had one hen go three months without paying the rent so I threatened to cut back on her feed and only turn a heat lamp on when the temps drop below 35. Hilary Fluff Butt started putting out two days later and has been fairly consistent ever since.
I find that a good pep talk can really help morale so I occasionally dress up like Mike Ditka and go give them a good pre-game speech.
These aren’t egg layers. These are yard ornaments.
Rhonda Gable Hammons
They must be millennials. Do they live in your basement and stay home all day playing video games?
Samuel Lewis Harrison
It sounds like performance anxiety. Maybe dim the lights, don’t look them in the eyes, put on some Nora Jones and reassure them that it happens to other chickens too.
Tines & Tomatoes
We have morning meetings and discuss the issues going on in the coop. I feel it helps the girls when we talk about their problems. Falcor, my olive egger, was pissed that Large Marge the Brahma took her roosting spot on top of the cabinet in the coop. Large Marge only moved there when Falcor’s best friend, Chookie, was killed by a hawk, so she was extra hurt and stopped laying for a bit. After we had a few sessions of morning meetings we started to get olive eggs again.
Thanks to Sehar Jakupi for his original post and the Bitchin’ Chickens followers who chimed in with their responses.
Love all the comments. My free loading slackers are threatened with freezer camp by hubby quickly followed my meal worms and black oil seeds!
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Every day when I enter the coop, I praise them in a high squeaky voice when I see an egg, and call them lazy chickens in the same high squeaky voice when there is no egg. They love it!
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