[Sca-cooks] Storing eggs through Lent, WAS Re: Hi again everyone!!!
t.d.decker at att.net
Fri Apr 3 22:20:57 PDT 2009
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stefan li Rous" <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>
To: <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
Sent: Friday, April 03, 2009 11:40 PM
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Storing eggs through Lent,WAS Re: Hi again
> Mistress Jadwiga commented:
> <<< The big trouble with eggs in Lent is that the hens have already
> laying, and the number of eggs they were laying in the winter was very
> diminished anyway, so you've probably used up most or all of your stored
> eggs. >>>
> I thought that hens mostly stopped laying eggs back in late fall or early
> winter. And would have started laying again during Lent. So when did the
> hens start laying again?
> And I am specifically thinking about within period, not today. With the
> years of genetic manipulation and constant, provided grain supplies
> instead of scrounging for bugs and such, I doubt there is much
> resemblance in the rate of today's egg laying to medieval times. However,
> I seem to remember that even today, egg laying does drop off during the
> winter. The amount and size of eggs today also does still vary depending
> upon the age of the hen.
Here's a start, Stefan.
"There seem to be naturally two periods of the year in which fowls
lay,--early in the spring, and in the summer; and this fact would seem to
indicate that, if left to themselves, like wild birds, they would bring
forth two broods in a year. The laying of hens continues, with few
interruptions, till the end of summer, when the natural process of moulting
causes them to sease. This process, which is annual, commences about
August, and continues through the three following months. It is the
constitutional effect which attends the beginning, continuance, and
consequences of this period, which prevents them from laying. This period
is a very critical one, in the case of all feathered animals. Until it is
very close, when the entire coat of new feathers replaces the old ones, the
wasting of the nutritive juices, which are yielded by the blood for the
express purpose of promoting growth, is a great drain on the system. It is
easily understood, therefore, why the constitutional forces, which would
otherwise assist in forming the egg, are rendered inoperative. The approach
of cold weather, also, at the close of the moulting period, contributes to
produce the same effects. As the season of moulting is every year later, it
follows that the older a hen is, the later in the spring she will begin to
lay. As pullets, on the contrary, do not moult in the first year, they
commence laying sooner than the older hens; and it is possible, by judicious
and careful management, so to arrange, in a collection of poultry tolerably
numerous, as to have eggs throughout the year." John C. Bennett, The
Poultry Book, 1851.
"While few hens are capable of hatching more than 15 eggs, and are incapable
usually of sitting more than twice a year, frequent instances have occurred
of hens laying three hundred eggs annually, while two hundred is the average
number. Some hens are accustomed to lay at longer intervals than others.
The habit of one variety is to lay once in three days only; others lay every
other day, and some produce an egg daily. A hen exhibited at the American
Institute, in 1843, was reported to lay two eggs per diem, and Aristotle
mentions a breed which laid as often as three times a day." John C.
Bennett, The Poultry Book, 1851.
More information about the Sca-cooks