Friday, January 4, 2013

2012 eggs

We ended the year with 1,386 eggs laid. This was a great result, our best to date. Of course we couldn't eat this many eggs, but it's great to give them away, barter them or sell a few every now and again.

We now have seven chooks, four Hi-line browns and three Australorps. The Hi-lines are about a year old and in their prime, whereas the Australorps are about 4 years old now. In year one the Australorps laid well but since then their production has dropped off and they're often broody. They still lay the odd egg, but I'd say that they lay about 1 a day between them whereas the Hi-lines lay 3 a day between them on average. It's early days for the hi-lines but if they keep their laying up for a few years I'd have to say that they're the best backyard layers for the burbs. Since we can't keep roosters and breed chooks there doesn't seem much point in having heritage chooks, except for their beauty and interesting looks. I love Australorps but their broodiness is a big issue. Auracanas are great for their blue eggs but they don't live that long from our experience.

The new chooks arrived at the end of January and started laying almost immediately. They laid well through autumn and there was the usual dip in production in winter, although this was much less marked than in previous years. Then they cranked up in spring and have been laying a bit less in summer. We'll keep an eye on the production from the Australorps, Lacey, Snowy and Splash. Hopefully they'll keep going a while longer so we don't have to make the tough decision over whether to keep them or not...

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