There are many signs of spring; the first robin, tulips, yellow forsythia, pussy willows, melting snow, and soft roads. Today I discovered another you can add to the list, an egg from my backyard flock after a winter hiatus.
For those of you not familiar with chickens, they need a certain number of hours of sunshine to lay eggs. The magic number of hours varies by breed, but I have tried hard to select birds who are a little less fussy about the length of the day. You can help them along by adding a light to your coop and keeping it on to get your ladies the light they want.
Up until this year I have always managed to get just enough eggs all winter without supplemental lighting. I fight the use extra light for an assortment of reasons, but mostly it seems to me almost puppy mill treatment to “demand” your hens lay non-stop. But this year all my ladies went into a moult in November and by December 1st, I was rationing the last of free-range eggs. To add to all the things that make winter a dreary season I can now add store-bought eggs. This was the first time years I had to buy eggs, which made the first spring egg extra special. Even with a winter weather advisory in place I know spring is on the way.