This might seem like a bizarre post but due to the fact that I am more than a little bit crazy and I have OCD which makes me very compulsive at odd times, I decided to count the amount of fresh eggs that our gorgeous hens have blessed us with. Never having chickens before I was intrigued to find out just how many eggs our 4 hens would lay in a full calendar year. I started counting from the very first-day they started laying and took this as Day 1. I was absolutely shocked to find out that our 4 hens have laid a whopping 1230 eggs in one full year. I have read that hens can stop laying for periods of time due to a variety of reasons e.g. Extreme hot or cold weather, decreased daylight, old age, poor nutrition, dehydration, stress, presence of predators, injury, infestation of parasites, annual moulting cycle, a broody hen, disease and discomfort, over breeding etc. We have been so lucky as most days our hens lay 1 egg each and typically each hen skips a day so has one day off from laying each week because we all need a day off to rest and relax (ha ha). It was an eye opener realising that just the two of us have consumed 1230 eggs in a year. In all fairness we have gifted a few to random friends and neighbours in our village but 99% we have ate ourselves. When we have a build up of eggs we usually eat a lot of omelettes and we bake a shed load of homemade Portuguese cakes which main ingredients are sugar and eggs. I am glad that I don’t have to count the amount of eggs per day and record it by hand on my wall calendar as I am forever loosing my pencil. My memory is poor with menopausal brain fog and some days it was a chore trying to remember if we received 3 or 4. I am glad I persevered with the process as I find it fascinating, probably a lot more than I should do because I’m a weirdo (ha ha).
Grand Total of 1230 Eggs!
We purchased our ladies from Tábua market on the 3rd October 2021 and our first egg arrived on the 17th November 2021 (6 weeks and 3 days later). 1 year on and we have a grand total of 1230 eggs! That’s a whole heap of eggs for just 2 people (ha ha). Don’t panic my cholesterol is normal and just think of all the protein. Hubby was a bit sad as he wanted 1234 whereas (due to my OCD) I was just happy it was a round number (ha ha).
I am shocked at how much personality my ladies have and I learn something new everyday from them. They are absolutely hilarious and a lot smarter than people give them credit for (apart from dumb ass Judith). They are highly addictive too, more addictive than sugar! I am still raising just 4 but be careful as before you know it you’ll have 58 chickens in your backyard and be known as “The crazy chicken lady”.
Just like my children, my chickens have different personalities and I have a favourite (ha ha). Let me introduce you:
The Fearless and My Favourite: Michonne (So very silky and just like my favourite child: Adorable)
The Dirty Big Boss: Carol (She used to be white as the driven snow but is always a mucky mare now)
The Shy & Dumb Ass Girl: Judith (So stupid that she fell off a high wall and hubby had to retrieve her)
The Troublemaker AKA The Asshole: Maggie (She is slightly psychotic like me!)
Chicken & Caffeine Therapy
I absolutely adore my Chickens: Michonne, Carol, Maggie and Judith. They are very entertaining, all have different personalities and have bought me so much joy over the past year. Raising Chickens was one of the best decisions I’ve made since relocating to Portugal. I free range them every single day and this is my favourite part of my day: Chicken and Caffeine Therapy, just sitting with my girls, chilling in the garden with a strong coffee in my hand and watching the sun go down on another glorious day. The only negatives I have encountered are the the fact that they poop way more than I had anticipated so one needs to be vigilant at cleaning. Also the one and only time when my ladies caught mites. That was horrendous but we got through it O.K. I just adore being a Chicken Momma and I know hubby loves being a Chicken Papa too. They are definitely part of the family now and our beloved and treasured pets. Here are the Crazy Crew:
No Caffeine = Dirty Protest
Carol (The Boss) was not happy to find my empty coffee cup as she assumed it would be full to the brim with food. The look on her face says it all and she retaliated by doing a dirty protest on my blanket (ha ha). Imagine if I did this every time I couldn’t access a coffee!
Funny Egg Box Labels – Just Got Laid at Casa Valhal
My daughter bought me the funniest egg box labels and hubby returned from his trip to the U.K with them plus multiple delights. My gifts included a shed load of British Chocolate including Curly Wurly’s, Biscuits, Lush Cosmetics, sunglasses, weight lifting gloves and some packs of sensible M & S Knickers just in case your wondering why there is pants on my coffee table (ha ha). I really need to invest in some sexy underwear but I do like comfort at my age and every pair of knickers no matter what shape or design end up as a thong anyway, I blame my short legs and the size of my not so peachy ass (ha ha).
Love and Eggs are Best when they are Fresh
We rarely have a surplus of eggs because I eat 2 every day of my life. When we do have extra we gift them to friends and neighbours but most of the time we make omelettes and bake way too many Pão do Lo (cakes) which takes a whopping 7 eggs in the recipe! We have also made meringues, custard and lemon curd.
The Very First Egg: Number 1
I was so proud of this first egg, can you tell? (ha ha).
Hubby bought me a Chicken Whisperer T.Shirt in my favourite colour: Purple. I don’t know about whisperer as I spend most of my time shouting at them to get off my neighbours land. I keep telling them that the grass is not always greener on the other side but in fact in reality it actually is as my neighbour has lots of grass and cabbages to eat whereas I just have weeds to forage.
1 Year On: Egg Number 1230
It’s been an EGGSperience and interesting year learning about chicken behaviour and biology. I love discovering new facts at my ripe old age. It is now November 2022 and I have some slightly bad news. Don’t panic, no hen has gone to hen heaven but they have rapidly reduced their egg production and I’m not too pleased. I love eating my 2 eggs per day but it’s not currently happening. For a couple of weeks now we have only been receiving 1-3 eggs per day in total and the odd day we get zero eggs! I have found lots of feathers so I think my hens are moulting a lot which apparently is normal. The weather is still pretty mild and other than a bit of rain I can’t find any other environment changes that would upset their cycle but I have read that this can happen and it’s not unusual. Lets hope business resumes to normal soon as I miss my daily yolks. The key to everything is patience!