Wondering what it is? Well I will tell you. It’s “seasonal.” Yes you’ve heard that term before, but maybe not how it applies to eggs. Now before you dismiss it and think I’m crazy let me share with you a few things.
Most chickens have a dormant stage that happens in the Fall or Winter where they lay very little to no eggs. When they come out of that dormancy, it is usually Spring or close to it. All of a sudden eggs are booming! You have eggs coming out of your ears, or so it seems. Then when the weather heats up in the Summer you still have eggs, but not nearly as many as you do in the Spring. Fast forward to Fall and eggs are dwindling or maybe they’ve stopped altogether going into Winter. Do you see the pattern? Right after their dormant stage, when the weather is warming and the days are getting longer, the chickens begin to lays eggs in abundance. Coincidence? Not at all. Hence the term…..seasonal!
Sidenote: We know there are some people who use artificial lighting to try and keep their birds laying, but we do not. We don’t feel that this is in their best interest. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, we take the stance of if God created the birds to need a rest period than we are going to let them have one.
It has taken me 3 years to actually figure out this idea of eggs being seasonal, but they truly are! Just as we grow certain vegetables in certain seasons, eggs are most plentiful in Spring. Now of course eggs are available year round at your grocery store, but these are not anywhere near a fresh farm egg. Most of these birds are chicken house birds. No light, no bugs, no grass.
Please don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get eggs “off season” or outside of Spring because you definitely can. You just may not be able to get as many.
On our farm, we have tried to set a pattern each year of hatching new chicks in the late Spring or early Summer months. Since most chickens start laying around 6 months of age, the plan is that once the others began to slow down, we will have new ones that are just starting.
To illustrate this, in the month of May we hatched 8 chicks. These will be ready to lay sometime in November. Now whether or not they will they actually do so…..Who knows! Chickens need lots of daylight to hatch an egg and if they’re not getting it, you’re not usually getting eggs. November and December are low daylight months so it may be possible that they’re ready to lay, but the conditions they need to actually produce an egg won’t be there.
So this year when your favorite farmer or egg supplier runs out of eggs, remember eggs are seasonal and they will be back in Spring! If they do happen to have eggs, it is most likely a lower quantity. So as mentioned above, your regular 3 dozen may turn into just 1.
Just think your farmers still have the labor and expense of feeding and taking care of the birds and they may not be getting eggs either.
If you are one of those people who are fortunate to purchase farm fresh eggs in the later months, be thankful that you don’t have to go to the grocery store and buy store bought eggs that have probably been sitting on the shelf for two months already before you spend your hard earned money on them.
An important fact is that just as people are stressed by crazy weather patterns and major changes, chickens are too! Really our chickens have had a “rough” year between moving day with their new coops, the hawk attacks, all the rain last year, and now the extreme heat! No wonder why the hens are giving me the side eye when I go to collect eggs…I should be happy there are eggs at all!!! Lol!
Don’t worry. You guys know how spoiled these girls are. We are working hard to keep them hydrated and healthy. Their health and well being is our main concern, so we will do what we can to help them to live well and keep producing the eggs we’ve all become accustomed to.