Monday, August 20, 2012

The Great Egg Caper

For awhile now I have not been letting the hens out of their run until I would find an egg in the nesting box - or at least until sufficient time had passed to where there normally would be an egg.  Since the egg production has been quite spotty as of late, I wasn't expecting anything this morning.  However, I was intrigued as I approached the coop, and Beulah seemed excited (or agitated) for me to be there.  She hopped up into the coop, and as I opened the door to the nesting box, was happy to find an egg in there.  I also found Beulah poking her head out, and making her chicken sounds.  I thought she was just anxious to get out of the run.

Well, she truly was anxious to get out of the run, but not for the reason I thought.  They really don't like being cooped up in the three foot by six foot run all day.  So, I thought she was just anxious to get out and forage around the yard.  I opened the door to the run, and they both scurried out.  I didn't think anything of it, and set out to move the coop.  I remove the hanging water container so it doesn't spill all over during the move.  I  was preoccupied for a few minutes getting everything set again.

I then heard the chicken sounds from around the house, but couldn't see either hen.  I looked under the back entryway where they like to go in the heat of the day.  They weren't there.  I then looked over by the garage and garden.  Not there, either.  I then spotted a cat meowing a couple of houses away from ours, and decided to see if I could get it to come over.  All the while I'm hearing the chicken cooing sounds coming from the back of the house.  After spending a minute or two scratching the cat's head, I decided to go and find who was making all the noise once and for all.  I went back and looked under the entryway, and still no chickens were under there.  I finally decided to look in the bushes next to the rear stoop.

Egg stash under the bushes.
The start of a nest
Sure enough, Beulah was just lying there under the plant leaves.  I thought that was odd, since it is nice out this morning, but by no means was it hot out.  They usually like to sit in the bushes like that when temps get into the 80's or 90's (f).  She wasn't acting like she normally does when she is egg-bound, so I that wasn't the issue.  I finally just let her know that I was going to see what she was sitting on.  Lo and behold she had a stash of four eggs under there.  No wonder she was so anxious to get out of the coop.

Close up of the four eggs in the nest.
Close-up of the rogue nest.
I've read about broodiness in hens, and since we are relatively new to keeping chickens, we had not really experienced it to speak of.  Sheri once told me that Henrietta was wanting to stay on the eggs in the nesting box one time last fall or winter, but that was about it.  Well, Beulah was certainly displaying full-out broodiness today.  We'll have to keep an eye on that for a few days until we can get her past it.

I guess with chickens you never know what is going to happen from day to day.  I also learned to be more observant, and not get into just a routine when checking for eggs and looking after the hens.

No comments:

Post a Comment