Well, the last few days have seen the first little brown Wyandotte eggs coming out of the chicken tractor. There’s always something so rewarding about seeing new pullets start to lay — it’s like confirmation that you didn’t screw them up too badly as chicks.
I’m working on moving all of the Wyandottes over to the large coop, because they’ve gotten too big-bodied to be sharing the tractor. But at six months pregnant, I can’t exactly climb in there anymore to catch them, so I just grab one whenever they come within reach. There’s a good bit of squawking and flapping, and obviously, it’s taking much longer to complete the transfer this way, but eventually the tractor will only house a few Easter Eggers, Marans, and Silkies. It’s fun to see the big coop becoming increasingly diverse and colorful.
The Boy is obsessed with egg production right now. He wants to know every day how many eggs we’ve gotten, and when I tell him he says, “Oh, wow! Good chickens!” (On an unrelated note, he’s also desperate to go to Scotland and asks every night at bedtime if we can go tomorrow. The kid definitely has his priorities in line.)
Speaking of egg production, if you’re thinking of getting chickens and trying to decide on a breed, I have to tell you that my six White Leghorns are probably the best layers I’ve ever had. They’re small birds, and next to my pleasantly plump dual-purpose girls, they don’t look like they’d be big producers, but they are serious feed-to-egg converters. Even though they just molted and don’t even have all their tail feathers back yet, they’ve returned to full-on laying, and honestly, it’s not at all uncommon to get a full half dozen (i.e. 100% productivity) for five or six days in a row. Even on an “off” day, I usually get four or five very large white eggs. They’re considered a flighty breed — even though I raised them from day-old chicks, they’re definitely the least friendly of my flock, so if you’re looking for chickens that will double as pets for you or your kids, they might not be the best choice. Still, I’ve heard of friendly Leghorns, so maybe it’s just a matter of extra handling as babies. They aren’t as visually interesting as the intricately patterned Wyandottes or the shimmery-gold Orpingtons, but they’re still beautiful, snowy white birds.