Friday, February 28, 2014

Hens + alfalfa = eggs

Here's the beautiful dried alfalfa "salad" that I've been feeding my hens.  The  girls are wishing for spring as much as I am, and their dissatisfaction with a lack of green to nibble or some bugs to spear and gobble down has them frustrated says me, the Mother Hen.  There's been nothing but snow and cold most of the winter, and the hens have been literally cooped up.  I like to think of my hens as "free range" because most of the time they are out grazing and eating a natural hen's diet, but this winter they've been cooped up more days than not.  The egg supply began to drop due partly to the cold, but I think also due to the desire for a change of diet.  The past couple weeks or so I began to feed them a slab of alfalfa hay every day along with their corn, wheat, and layer pellet, and I'm seeing the results in increased egg production.  Yay!  

 (the girls picking through yummy green alfalfa)

 Hens + Alfalfa = Eggs (aka: happy hens)

We're getting a new layer of snow once again and the temperatures are going sub-zero tonight.  We're all growing weary of this especially cold winter weather, but we know -- yes we do -- that spring will come.  It's getting closer every day.  Look what I did -- I bought some seeds!  It's far too early to really think about planting seeds, but hey -- a girl can dream.

The drop bunch is getting smaller and smaller -- only a few ewes left to have lambs.  We've had 4 sets of triplets this past day so that means more bum lambs.  The goat mama's cannot take in any more "kids," but Dr. Liz, the vet, says she can take ten bottle lambs.

We sorted heifers yesterday and the girls who are closest to calving are being put in the sheds at night just in case a baby calf comes.  Night checks continue at both barns now -- sheep and cows.  We expect to get a calf or two this weekend.  Stay tuned.

"No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn."
~Hal Borland


  1. I'll try again. My first comment didn't take. Love the basket of eggs. We are suppose to get a cold snap but not as cold as the other side of the Cascades. Stay as warm and cozy as you can!

  2. Oh my goodness, the alfalfa is a great idea! I am still not getting any eggs and I am down to 5 hens. I love your idea! I haven't bought seeds yet, but you are inspiring me. In a couple of weeks I am going to try spinach in my raised beds :). Love reading your posts Jody! ~Julia

  3. I WILL stay tuned :)
    Our chickens have started showing signs of increased egg production too , even in the frigid weather we are still having.

  4. I have been buying greens at the store, they mark it down so I buy it. My hens love it. The hay looks heavenly.
    Poor girls I bet they are ready to be out and about.
    So nice you have someone to take the bummer lambs. Oh, yep our calving would start this time of year too. In fact, we got engaged walking the pastures checking cows at night. Most romantic dates I ever had and I never felt the cold. :)

  5. Jody, I am so ready for fresh's been a long while since I've had fresh eggs.

  6. It's the faithfulness of God that keeps Spring coming every year - I think of Wilder's *The Long Winter* that was SO hard...but even it ended. You are a good Mother Hen; I love the smell of the alfalfa that came through my computer monitor just now.

  7. Time for the cow girls to have their babies already? Wow! Oh, that dang cold. It's snowing again here today, too. Bah.
    A girl CAN dream! I have purchased seeds and I intend to continue, buying a package or two each time I visit the grocery store.

  8. Good old Hal. Ms. Tabor quotes him often and I have had the thought in the past that I should read more by him. I have never doubted spring before but this year I am beginning to wonder.

  9. What beautiful Eggs. I especially love the green ones. The sun is shining today and maybe for us, at least, Spring is one the horizon. I hope it's sunny in your neck-of-the-woods soon.

  10. Sounds like you have a bumper crop of lambs and eggs! The alfalfa is such a treat for the girls and warm underfoot! :)

  11. Glad to see you are keeping a step ahead of winter. Not easy this year. -19 this weekend. I have high hopes that March will come in like a lion and out like a lamb.

  12. Oooooooooo....good to know bout alfalfa......thanks

  13. Oh, but sometimes I do feel we jump nearly straight from the tail of winter into hot summer, down here in the South! Hopefully not this year. I know our long "winter" weather would probably feel like spring to you :) So eager for WARMTH.


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