Once again we made our pre-winter laying hen cull, to eliminate free-loaders from the gravy train. Two dozen hens — part of a flock we inherited from another farm — were removed from roll call, and of these only one had an egg in her innards. This in not, however, evidence of how skillfully we read the signs when we cull chickens — yellow feet and eye rings, small, dry vents and narrow pubic gap indicating hens that are not laying — it is instead a sign that something is wrong with the chickens, has been wrong for several years. Severely depressed laying numbers in second-year flocks are the present norm, but they have not always been. Are GMO’s making our hens sterile? Send us a comment and let us know how your hens are laying, with their age, feed type and feed allowance; we are looking for clues.