Even with the shorter days, I'm getting more eggs.
My Buckeyes have *finally* started laying. The Buckeyes are my emotional favorites, but not my favorite when it comes to the bottom line. They are friendly enough, very intelligent, and have no problem letting one of the kittens know when they're out of line.
They did, however, take a much longer time than my other three breeds to start laying.
These girls, my Buff Orpingtons, were my earliest maturing and have been my steadiest layers.
These girls - my Easter Eggers - have been my challenge. They don't like to be enclosed, they don't like to lay eggs where everyone else does, and they have interchickenal (just made that up) relationship issues. They're like the drunk who is five feet tall but thinks he's ten feet tall until a good punch brings him back to his senses. They pick fights and then three seconds later are running away yelling for mercy.
They also don't have a problem disciplining the kittens, though in their case, it's not so much disciplining as taking out frustration. Neither one of these kittens were doing anything to annoy them besides coming in the pen.
Which I suppose would be annoying to a chicken.
These girls, my Cuckoo Marans, are as sweet as the Orpingtons, and have been right with them when it comes to maturation rate and number of eggs laid.
Because of the cost of feed, I need to liquidate. I have nine Buckeyes and four each of the other three breeds. Which birds I end up with will depend more on which ones sell well around here than on which ones I want to keep. For my current purposes, an egg is an egg.
Though I won't be sad if the Easter Eggers go first. Gorgeous troublemakers that they are.