***Spoiler: This post is only a joke. No chickens were harmed in the making of this post. Do not attempt the following unless you want to kill your flock and/or get arrested for public indecency.***
So the other day, I had a nice little old man give me some tips on how to increase my flock’s egg production. He said that if I gave them some expired Vicodin, a handful of Froot Loops, and dance nekkid to the Hokey Pokey in my front yard it would increase their egg laying dramatically. Well, look what happened! I guess he knows what he was talking about!!! 97 eggs later!!!! :O
I’m sorry! I had to do it! After the great “expired yogurt/increased egg production” post on Facebook that has been making the rounds since last week, I just had to get in my two cents.
First of all, I think that the original poster on Facebook certainly meant no harm and was simply excited to share an odd coincidence where they fed their hens some expired yogurt and seemingly, egg production exploded. One would naturally assume that the two might be related. But let’s get down to the brass tacks.
First of all, chickens don’t really digest dairy products simply because they don’t produce the enzymes to digest lactose. Oh, but some dairy doesn’t contain lactose, or at least very little, you may say. This is true, but I’d just have to ask where in nature would a chicken find dairy products? Now, is the occasional serving of funky cottage cheese or yogurt going to straight up kill your chickens? No. Is the occasional serving of yogurt going to miraculously quadruple your egg production? No.
The truth is, it’s that time of year when the day length is steadily increasing and chickens’ egg laying action naturally ramps up. The above photo (with the 97 eggs) was less than a week’s worth of eggs out of my small flock. About a month ago or so, I was having to BUY eggs! Now see what happens as spring gets closer! So, you can easily see how, if I were to have given my hens some yogurt a few weeks ago, I would naturally assume that it was due to the yogurt that my hens became egg-laying machines, right?
What I found particularly hilarious after reading the comment section on the original FB yogurt/hen post was that people were very, very excited that they actually had EXPIRED yogurt to give their flock. As if the expiration date possessed a magical quality where, the day (or week) after it expired, this yogurt turned into egg makin’ steroids for chickens. There were dozens of people shouting, “I have expired yogurt! Woohoo!” or something similar.
On the other hand, there were some odd comments from some animal rights folks who seemed to think that all of the eggs were laid in a single day. Or something. It would be like looking at my photo above and thinking that I had five or ten hens laying ALL of those in a day.
Let’s clear this up right now: Chickens only lay a single egg a day. There may be the very rare occasion where a hen lays two a day, but I have only had that happen once in eight years. Trust me, you ain’t getting those broodies to lay on your schedule. I bought eggs five times this winter while my hens took a winter break. There is NOTHING I do to “make” them lay eggs. I don’t stand over them with a tiny bullwhip and shame them into making my breakfast.
The only thing that I would personally NOT recommend is using artificial lighting for your hens, which can ‘trick’ them into thinking that the day length is not decreasing in the winter. Even God had to take a day off, y’all. Let those girls take a break for a bit and they will get it going again in the spring. No expired yogurt, Vicodin, Froot Loops, or nude Hokey Pokey required.
Peace out, y’all.
P.S. The original poster of the egg/yogurt post is a fabulous craftsperson, and I’m just going to throw that out because I happened to go over and do some Facebook page stalking. I’d love to own one of their baskets! And in no way am I trying to make fun of them. I just want to clear the air on the matter. Chicken lovers unite!