Who’s Laying, Who’s Not

Yesterday we collected four brown eggs from the Girls. That means that Twiggy didn’t lay.



Her egg is large and white, so distinctive that it’s easy to keep track of her production. For two years, Twiggy laid six eggs a week, but she’s old for her breed and can’t keep that rate up. Currently, Twiggy is laying about one egg a week, and that one I feed to the dogs. Sometimes it has blood spots, and it always has milky, detached chalazae. (Chalazae are those tough white strings that hold the yolk centered in place.) So far, the shells are thick enough to enable Twiggy to safely continue to lay her eggs. I’m hoping that she’ll stop laying before the glitches in her system become calamitous for her.

Twice a week Beatrix lays her pretty dusky greenish-blue egg. Owly has yet to lay her blue egg. Misty provides us with two pearl white eggs weekly. Jasper lays a speckled egg once a week. I don’t know which of the brown egg layers are more productive than the others. But I do know that someone is laying a thin-shelled egg that breaks as it reaches the nesting box floor.

It’s beginning days of the laying season with an old flock. Time will tell how this will all settle out. For now, everyone looks fine. The lawn is frozen but free of snow and they’ve had some good foraging outings. This coming week the temperature is supposed to rise to almost 70! They’ll undoubtably find special places to dust bathe throughout the garden. I might not have a full egg basket, but the hens are happy.


  1. I currently have 8 hens and on a productive day there are 4 eggs waiting to be collected. My oldest hen(mixed breed is in her 5th year and lays the odd egg maybe once every week or so, but it is welled formed with a good hard shell but is a blotchy light tan colour. The next 2 oldest are in their 4th year but only the Jersey Giant is laying around 3 nice brown eggs a week…the Blue Orpington seems to have retired but she never was a good layer so I am not surprised. My 3 yr old Ancona lays aprox. 4 lovely big white eggs as per usual and the Campine who is the same age usually lays 3 pearly white ones a week. My best layers are the pair of 2 yr old Appenzellers who both lay about 5 white eggs each week and my bantam Ameraucana who is in her first year of laying donates 5 or 6 tiny pale blue ones to the cause.
    I suspect production might improve as spring advances, but like you am more focused on enjoying watching my happy hens rush out into the garden each morning looking to see if i added anything yummy to the compost pile, then checking out all their best spots for scratching for bugs and worms before retiring to the sunniest driest areas to either sunbathe or take a bath. Let`s face it….laying their eggs just takes up precious time. :)

  2. Beautiful Twiggy! Amazing how they always manage to keep themselves so white! I still can’t believe so much time has passed since they were chicks. O_o

    It’s going to be warm for us too. Unfortunately, it has been making it up to 40 for a few days so the thaw has begun. By the end of the week we’ll be up to our knees in mud. *sigh* It’s March.

    • Yes, mud season cuts into dust bathing weather. The Goats hate to get their hooves muddy. But it’s good for the garden.

  3. I still have two of the four hens I got just a month or two after you got the gems. these two are laying about every other day. Do you remember what year that was? I am a little vague about it .

  4. Twiggy is awesome, and probably isn’t retiring yet – just taking a break.

  5. I so enjoy reading about your chickens! My flock is rolling out about 4 eggs a day..I have two of my original flock, a Barred Rock who laid a double yolker yesterday, she has done this often in her 5 years, her eggs are sturdy and well formed, we get 1 or 2 eggs a week from her. My Buff is still beautiful after 5 years, and has never been a good layer,I am not sure how many eggs she lays on average. My three big healthy Delawares, who eat like horses are really laying well in their second season so far, better than last year for some reason. They lay nice big brown eggs,I get 3 or so a day from that bunch. Then there is my Leghorn who layed non stop for almost 20 months, then stopped and molted slightly. She has been slow to start again this pre-spring. About 3 eggs a week so far. Then there are my cuckoo Bearded Belgians, the 4 of them lay about 3 eggs a week if I am lucky. My grandchildren love to eat those eggs because they are so cute and small…..I love collecting eggs. Thanks Terry for your blog, I also love reading about Tonka, He is such a beautiful animal:)

  6. I too am getting four eggs from eight hens (all bantams) My two brown leghorns and my ancona are laying. My vorwerk is laying and is in her fifth year of laying so is doing well. My goldtop is broody at the moment but lays well inbetween. My two game girls always start later and have a shorter season and my gold wyndotte is an anomaly. She laid one clutch only in each of the last two years and this year hasn’t bothered herself at all. She practised for a while then gave up and yet she is top hen and healthy and in good condition.

  7. Off my 6 girls 5 are laying, my Welsummer will not lay till at least the end of May, she is not old just never been a good layer. My 2 Magpies lay all the time like Twiggy there egg white is runnier but still okay for scrambled or cakes. My Buff Sussex and 2 RIReds are also laying, so getting about 16 eggs a week from the 5. They are the same age as your Ladies. We have finally had some sunny dry days the Girls are enjoying every minute, ( long may it continue, but not looking good )….:)

  8. I have 20 hens and I am getting about 10 eggs a day. My flock ranges from 3 one year olds to 8. Most are in the 4-6 range.
    I spotted my oldest a Easter Egger in the nesting box yesterday. She is 8 so I don’t know if she actually laid an egg or was re-living the good ole days. :-)

  9. Terry, keep meaning to ask, what has happened to the temperature reading or is it just my connection ?

    • I don’t know what’s happened. It’s not our thermometer, we have to link to something. I’ll ask ITGuy to look into it. Thanks for the heads up.

    • Mr IT Guy had not noticed; thanks for pointing this out. There is a problem with the weather station we fetch the temp value from. I’ll hopefully have it working again soon.

  10. Thanks Steve, I like checking the reading and comparing to ours…:)

  11. Hi, Terry,

    Tried making sprouts for my hens and thought of you. Girls LOVE it.