Crazy month this December. A few big swings in temperatures, some chicken chasing going on, and the presence of a fox all made for some changes.
Production pretty steady until the 11th, which brought about a drop. The 10th was visitor day, and a couple of the young boys took great delight in chasing the chickens.
Okay, so we did get a certain level of enjoyment watching the boys and chickens on the run! The boys of course had no chance of catching one. While we did not have an issue with the chicken chasing, the hens showed their protest of the event by cutting production the next day. Well, I guess that backed things up some, so the day after that, the 10 hens laid 11 eggs, one with no shell, just the membrane, likely from the hen that laid two for the day. Another 10 days or so goes by, and another day of low production, followed by 11 eggs, again one with no shell. Not sure what the reason for the drop this time.
The 23rd, and again on Christmas eve, we had a problem with the light on the timer. Christmas day, the breaker popped, so something in the electrical system shorted out.
Low production on Chirstmas day. The electrical was re routed for the lights and back in order.
The 26th, as I was going down to the chicken house to feed them and close them up for the night, a red fox appeared, made several attempts at snatching one of the hens. It got a mouthful of hen just as I caught up to them. My appearance and noise as I came after it startled the fox. It dropped the the Silver Wyandotte, Sophia Red, and made for the woods.
On the 27th one of the hens was missing when I went to close them up, but she was there the next morning, unharmed. The 30th however, was a different matter.
The fox appeared while we were away, and killed 8 of the flock of 17. Michael heard the commotion and went out for a look, just in time to see the fox carry off one
of the chickens. Of the 10 hens that were laying, 4 were killed. All four were Plymouth Barred Rock. The fox also killed 3 Buff Orpington cockerels, and a Rhode Island Red pullet. The cockerels and pullet were 17 weeks old. The Barred Rocks were 42 weeks old.
Blue Egg count was 25