My great experiment has now begun in earnest.
Days are now officially longer: on December 22, we had precisely nine hours of daylight; today, we will have nine hours and twenty-five minutes. This is an accelerating change; if you look at the cycle from solstice to solstice as a sine curve, you’ll see that change is the slowest on either side of the solstices, gradually speeding up as it approaches and passes the equinoxes, then slowing again as the next solstice nears. Help is on the way.
I knew it would be a while before I could determine if the slowing of egg production was due to shorter days, or to colder temps. And now, I can say with some confidence…it depends.
This week’s big news: Hermione is back!!! And Haley, of course, never even slowed. A true “production” girl, our Haley is. Hermione was the first to stop laying, and now seems to be back in business. So, Production Reds respond to light, is my tentative conclusion, subject to revision.
My Light Brahmas eggs are now MIA. Alexia is still laying her tiny little eggs every other day, but the two big girls have dropped out. So…Light Brahmas respond more to temperature?
My Plymouth Barred Rocks have ploughed right through both shorter days and colder temps.They may not be laying as frequently, but they’re laying. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these chickens from the swift completion of their appointed eggs.
The Buff Orpingtons? Are all over the freaking place. I have no clue. That’s where the theory falls apart.
They gave me four eggs yesterday, and three so far today; numbers are definitely down. But, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, it’s cold out there! The girls spend all day looking for a ray of sunshine and hopping from foot to foot.
I’m impressed they’re laying for me at all.