An Egg’s Epic Journey to the Frying Pan

The delightful fragrance of sizzling bacon fills the kitchen as freshly cracked eggs plop into the frying pan  Along with whole wheat toast topped with English marmalade, few breakfasts are more delicious than eggs fresh from the backyard coop


Before those eggs enter the pan, they’ve undergone a remarkable journey that starts in the hen’s ovary


When a female chicken hatches she has two ovaries but one gradually shrinks and becomes unfunctional  The other gradually matures to generate all the eggs she’ll lay  When she’s about 20 weeks old, give or take a few weeks, a hen begins ovulation  It is

Time to Say Goodbye

Anyone who has kept a backyard flock eventually faces a dilemma As hens age their egg laying slows Eventually it nearly stops There’s a point where the girls eat expensive feed yet hardly lay an egg How does a flock owner decide when to get rid of aging hens and what to do with them?


A Laying Scenario

A young pullet starts laying when she is 18 to 24 weeks old If she’s of a productive breed she’ll soon lay like fury It takes about 26 hours for an egg to form, so every once in a while, she’ll take a

Tips to Keep Hens Laying in Winter

Winter can be a slow time for chickens Some hens will take a permanent break from laying eggs, while a select few lay once or twice a week

It can be disappointing to have chickens at home, but still have to buy store-bought eggs in the winter I certainly know the shame of buying eggs at the grocery store, when I have over 25 hens at home! Please know, this is cyclical and all part of mother nature Our chickens have to maintain their body conditions in the cold, and contend with less sunlight Their energy goes into surviving, and

Why Chickens Slow Down Laying in the Fall

The long, warm days of summer are coming to a swift end Just as quickly, you may have noticed a sudden drop in your flock’s egg production!

Chickens will slow down laying during the fall for two reasons; less sunlight and the molt

In the world of chickens, less daylight equals less prolactin

Prolactin exists in most creatures and is a reproductive regulating hormone Prolactin is responsible for stimulating the ovulation cycle in a hen No one really knows why, but in our domestic chickens, prolactin levels decrease when days begin to have less than 12 hours of sunlight

Without a normal ovulation

An Egg’s Incredible Journey

Perhaps the greatest joy of keeping a small chicken flock happens when an egg hits the frying pan The bold orange yolk is as pleasant to the eye as it will soon be to the taste buds  No grocery store egg can compare with it That egg followed an amazing journey before becoming human breakfast

Months earlier, folks at Hoover’s Hatchery collected hatching eggs from their numerous brooder flocks and trucked them to Rudd, Iowa, then gently tucked them into incubators On each egg’s yolk is a tiny cell with combined genes from the rooster that mated with the hen