Snow Or Not, It's Spring
Published on March 26, 2013 by Sara Foss

It's spring, whether it snows or not, according to my colleague Margaret Hartley, who writes about the transition to a new season in her column Greenpoint.

Here's an excerpt:

"The last day of winter had us shoveling around 10 inches of new snow. The first day of spring saw the shovels out again, cleaning up another 2 inches or so that had fallen overnight.

So what? Spring is here anyway.

I have proof. Not only is the sun a little higher every day, but the chickens have started laying again. Spring means eggs.

Chickens are light-sensitive. With no artificial light source they will stop laying in the winter and start up again in spring. In nature, this makes perfect sense, allowing chicks to be born in spring and summer when their chances of survival are far better.

For people who raise chickens, the winter shutdown is not particularly welcome. I made fun of some people I know, fairly new to chicken raising, who gave away their whole flock last month. They were fed up with the lack of eggs.

'We need a different breed,' they said, and I thought, 'They need a better light.'

Maybe they’re just like us and keep forgetting to turn the light on. Or maybe, like us, they have a henhouse light that’s just not strong enough.

And maybe, being new to chicken raising, they don’t realize that even chickens who stop laying in the winter will start again in the spring.

Click here to read the whole thing.

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