A spring in my Step

After a seemingly fast and surprisingly warm winter, spring has sprung here rather early.
The mulberry tree is flowering, along with the apple trees.
The soil is beginning to warm and I’m ready to begin planting . Each afternoon, while the boys play I dig over a patch of garden. It’s so dry at the moment – nearly a month without notable rain. It’s rather like digging boulders, the clay is set so hard.
Rain has been predicted this week, however those promising looking clouds roll away each evening leaving a dusty haze and a fabulous sunset.
So I’ve resorted to using a hose to soak the soil, hoping I can get the digging fork in even a few inches.

In the chook house, I’ve been gathering a single egg, every other day, for most of winter. I’ve become rather clever at cooking with one egg. But today – oh my there was two eggs. Two!

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The possibilities of what I can do with those two eggs…

How has your garden and chooks faired this winter? Any good advice on keeping up the egg production or do you think it’s better to let them rest?

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2 thoughts on “A spring in my Step

  1. It’s only a few more weeks until the carnival of flowers and the weather is warming up nicely! Mulberry season is just around the corner too.

    The single best tip I can give for keeping up egg production during winter, is siting the chicken coop where it gets the most sun exposure. It should see the first rays of the morning and receive the last ones of the afternoon, because the length of the day is what will kickstart them back into production.

    Between 10 hens we collected about a dozen eggs a day during winter. Six were first year layers and four were second year layers. We also served them a warm breakfast every day, with whatever leftovers we had around – porridge, bacon rind, last nights dinner, gravy, fat, the crusts off bread.

    Both our coops face north, and with the lower position of the sun during winter, it reaches right under the eaves into the pens. Our hens do moult and lay fewer eggs during that time, but it never seems to be for long. They seem to know when to cut back and when to pick up again. Having different ages between the hens also means when some cut back, others are still laying.

    We didn’t raise any new chicks so we may not be so lucky next winter.

  2. Isn’t wonderful to have eggs again! We are collecting 5-6 a day from 9 hens and 10 pullets (I think a couple have started to lay already). This is up from 5-6 per week a few weeks ago! Eggs for breakfast again, endless eggs for baking, and we can start to incubate some more chicks soon too.

    As for the garden, it was going ok until we had that week of frosty mornings, beans, tomatoes, paw paws and everything that was hanging on through winter was frosted off, now I just have lots of brassicas and peas! Hasn’t it been dry though!? I am finding that mulch really helps to keep the soil a bit softer, but it is a challenge to get the fork into the soil! I’m waiting for some more winter crops to finish so I can start spring planting, timing is a bit tricky in a small plot.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with your raised beds this year!

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