As egg farmers, Vic and I seem to be abject failures.
I got a nice young Barred Rock hen from Centennial Farm last fall because one of our three hens had died. I had hoped that the new hen, named Miss Hillary, would be a good layer.
But so far, she's been pretty worthless.
She laid two eggs last fall and then immediately went into molt and stopped. For a month, that poor, bedraggled thing just moped around, taking dust baths, and not producing any eggs.
By the time her feathers grew back, it was winter. Hens don't produce eggs during the short days of winter. It is during the lengthening days of spring that they are at maximum production.
When spring arrived, things turned around. All three of our girls began laying again. I even had enough of a surplus to freeze some extra eggs. But when summer arrived, Miss Hillary went broody on us.