Two sisters, two urban gardens, and a question: How much of our families' food can we produce ourselves?
Moving toward sustainability on urban farms
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
One bad egg
Any false move lifting this egg from the nest box and it would have broken wide open. The shell felt like very thin, very brittle leather. If I knew which hen had laid this parchment-shelled egg, I'd know which hen was reaching the true end of her laying life. Then I suppose the cull-or-not-cull decision would have to be made.
But I don't know, and spying on the hens probably isn't going to happen. We're probably just going to wait until all of the hens are showing signs of age. Personally, I'd rather cull the entire flock and start over with new chicks in the future versus pulling out only one hen now. Besides, that way, the flock's balance of personalities can continue to balance one another as well as they do currently.
As I've written about before, deciding to keep backyard poultry inevitably raises questions like this. I know what my decision is already, as I also know that I don't have to cull too soon. The weak-egg layer can coast a bit more. I'll up their oyster shells to help and patiently wait for the younger birds to catch up. Then they'll go on to their next stage, and the chick to hen to egg layer cycle will begin again.