My husband and I have been debating in a life or death situation for the past few weeks. We have looked at the books, talked some more, counted the goods. My husband tends more towards mercy. I am planning some chicken soup.
So the situation is as follows: We have 4 (supposedly) healthy laying hens. Delaware hens. Each hen is supposed to give one egg per day to earn her keep. We have been getting three. Or two. Some days we get 4 and my husband makes sure I know, and the hens breath a sigh of relief. Or they would if they knew.
The problem is, I'm not quite sure how to find out which hen is not such a great layer. They lay at all times of the day, although they do make a racket when they do. They all lay in the same nesting box, although there are three. So in the end, I'm not even able to follow up on my threat.
Also, the books say that chickens slow down for all sorts of reasons: molting, the weather, a full moon (okay, not the last one). So it really is better to tend towards mercy in this case and wait it out. But I'm watching them.