Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Who Laid That? Egg-citing Stories From The Coop

We closed out the year in December with the biggest egg on record, February begins with the smallest chicken egg I've ever seen. It's about the size of a plump concord grape. These ladies need to know about averaging things out and going for the middle of the road egg.

Lately when we open the coop in the morning there has been the occasional soft egg that appears broken on the floor just below the roosts. Is it so small and soft that it just slips from her warm body in the night? Odd it is.  One of our new old girls is the only one laying and her shells are very soft that we've found them broken in the nest. The other day a couple old gals were pecking and eating its contents. It may soon be time to process the layer as we're concerned that they may get too interested in eating their eggs.

Most days we average from 5 to 7 eggs now, not including the soft shelled one that usually gets broken. There have been several odd days of only 4 eggs which has made me curious and thinking about scouring the yard for a possible new nesting spot. With plenty else to do, the though hasn't manifested to action. Yesterday Pretty girl and several others were clucking about the woodpile and upon closer inspection, two dirty eggs revealed themselves. Moral to the story, when there are four eggs it's time to forage for the missing egg.

Saturday in the midst of chores, shock collar therapy and the like, we left the door to our detached bedroom ajar. Barbara the Barred Rock is always hanging about the entry way lately looking for hand outs. When I entered the bedroom I got quite a surprise, Barbara nestled in all comfy in the covers of the bed. Warm thoughts of "Aww, isn't that cute" turned quickly to panic as I thought through the consequences of having a chicken in my bed... rushing to pluck her out of the bed and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a beautiful tan egg, still very warm to the touch that she was brooding over.

Tonight I got the distinct honor of putting the girls to bed (I'm usually cooking so I miss out on tucking them in). Dora the Explorer was patiently waiting as usual at the gate to be hand-carried to bed. Being the Buff Orpington that she is, she's likely too stout to make the short but steep flight up to the roost by her own steam (although the Wyandottes are bigger and figure it out!). The front roost was full and it was such a precious sight to see the girls all lined up together, a cozy chicken-pile in the coop. It took me several tries to get Dora up on a roost, but she was patient with me and didn't seem to mind my awkward fumblings.

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