Duck! The Chickens are Here!

ImageIt’s hard to believe, but this motley crew of chicks should crank out somewhere between 2,800 – 3,200 eggs for our family (and a few for VIP’s nearby) before we ship them out for retirement in 2.25 years (calculation based on 5 laying hens). See if you can pick out the odd duck! We picked this guy up, a mallard, on a whim. I was worried about dealing with all the splashing water a happy duck needs, but apparently it’ll just up and fly away in the fall when the shorter days trigger its migratory instincts. We’re just coming off our winter break away from our last flock of chickens, so I’m all rested up and ready to collect eggs and attend to daily chores again.

By the way, our last flock is enjoying their retirement on an anesthesiologist’s estate. One day, after arrangements were made last fall, he just came by and picked them up in his Subaru. We just stuffed them in the trunk area where they were loose and he drove away with them looking a wee bit confused. Not a bad retirement for a chicken eh?

Here’s a chicken factoid for the next time you’re on Jeopardy. Each hen is born with 4000 ova (each with the potential to become eggs). Amazingly they lay one a day pretty regularly for 1-2 years (aside from a molting period that can be managed). After that, however, the egg production drops down to the point where it wouldn’t make fiscal sense to feed a bird that can live 10+ years. Hence our retirement plan……

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