When chicken tending becomes a zero-sum game

We currently have 16 hens. Each one lays on average four eggs each week.

We currently have one paying customer who speaks for three dozen eggs each week. My father in law takes a dozen each week. He gives a dozen to his step-daughter.

As our flock dwindles due to predation and old age, egg production has diminished. With all of the promised dozens, my husband and I often find ourselves with three eggs in the refrigerator.

At what point do we thank our customers for the business and begin keeping our eggs? We’re not egg hoarders. We don’t even eat that many. But the ridiculousness of the situation becomes apparent when I want to bake a batch of brownies and have to run to the store for eggs.

Gramps framed
Jere, the Most Tender

I suggested to Jere, the Most Tender, that our lone paying customer may need to find a supplemental source. He balked, though, because the customer essentially pays our monthly feed bill.

One could argue that the Most Tender does most of the work and should therefore be able to dictate egg distribution. But there has to be some reward for the people who contend with the crowing and the waste and the herding. That should be worth at least a half-dozen each week, right?

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