21/1/2018 Most of my chickens are hybrids, bred to lay eggs all year round – except for a few days or weeks here and there, when they are moulting, broody, or think it’s too cold and dark to consider such a thing. They generally lay slightly fewer eggs in winter, but I still have a daily supply.
I have a few pure breed chickens that are less regular in their laying habits, however; and two of them – called Cream Legbars – lay blue eggs. They are just over two years old, and each year they have stopped laying in September or October. I was mighty disappointed the first time they didn’t lay a single egg the rest of the year. I had no idea when they would start laying again – my best guess was early spring – but this year I was better informed. I hadn’t made a note of the date, but I thought it was roughly around the end of January to the middle of February.
Whether my memory was accurate, I don’t know; in any case I had a little surprise in store. Two days ago, on 19th January, I spotted the smaller of the Cream Legbars heading for the nest box. I had to exercise a little patience (I was tempted to keep checking), but sure enough, an hour or two later I collected my first blue egg of the year. I was almost as excited as the first time I collected a home-laid egg. It is amazing to me that so little extra daylight – only a month after the solstice! – is enough for them to resume egg laying. But it is proof that the days are lengthening, and it is a little sign of spring in the middle of winter.