At last all my hens are laying. I have been waiting for this day since March when I bought new chicks to add to my flock this year. Today at 21 weeks my Jane, my Australorp, laid her first egg. Beatrice who is three weeks older than her laid her first egg last week. Now everyone is on the production line. When hens first lay their eggs they are a funny sort, and it takes a little bit of time to get it right. These last two are no exception.
Last week I caught Bea in nest box, turning her head upside down to look between her legs at the egg in the box. Now mind you this was not her egg as it was an olive one, and she lays brown eggs. But I stood and watch this comical routine go on for a few minutes and then suddenly I heard the egg drop onto the floor of the nest box. She did not sit down and make a nice little round nest, nope she stood there and let it drop. Kerplunk! Fortunately neither of the eggs got broke.
Today I went out to the coop this afternoon and found two hens in one nest box, with both their behinds hanging out of the box, so if either laid an egg it would fall on the floor. One of them was Jane who had yet to lay an egg, and until today had shown no hint she was getting ready to lay. I was sure that these two girls fighting to be in the same box and surely broke any egg that might be in the box. I reached under both ladies and found an egg that could not belong to either of them. I turned around to leave and they decided that I had interrupted their party and came out with me. I watched as Jane dipped her beak into the water bowl. Getting water and raising her head to swallow it. Reminding me of those toys of childhood where the hens head bobbed up and down “eating food.” I was getting ready to go back inside and get back to work when she tilted her head down for one last sip and out came an egg. Jane had no idea what happened.
I am still fighting with a couple of hens about laying in the nest boxes, some days they do and others they don’t and I have to go looking for their gifts. Chickens are not like kittens that are born knowing what a litter box is for. Nope chickens take some time to get the hang of how to use the box.