05 December 2008

28 egg day!

Here is a funny little story from a chicken newbie...
My girls and roo are pretty spoiled. They have a coop built for
fifty, and a greenhouse to run around in all day with lights on until
7 or 8pm. They usually give me four to six eggs a day.
Over Thanksgiving we were gone a lot so I left them in their coop. I
didn't put their light on since I didn't know when we would be home.
They still got oatmeal and apples, rice and beans, or pasta and corn
made for their breakfast.
Suddenly they stopped laying eggs. I
didn't get any for two days, one the third day, and two the fourth
but laid from their roost so they fell and cracked. This poor egg
laying behavior has persisted since that time. I really thought
they were mad because they were locked up in the dark coop for three days!
I also noticed some holes in the ground of the coop again.
I really didn't know what to do! We went to Tractor Supply and got
more rat traps, and two have a heart traps and set them all around
the coop thinking surely we have a predator in our midst still/again.
This morning I went out to spring them from their coop and I was two
beaks short. I am vigilant about counting beaks. I would hate for
someone to be left outside. But, I didn't put them to bed last night-
hubby did... I ran around looking in all of the obvious spots and
calling for them. Then outside doing the same. I didn't see any
blood or feathers indicating a scuffle, but they were gone!
I ran inside and asked hubby if he counted beaks. He said no, he was
too busy looking for broken eggs under the roost since there were
none (again) in the boxes. So we both headed out and repeated our
search. Two of my girls were gone!
Then hubby heard a sound and one of my girls ran into a side room of
the greenhouse. We both followed and lo and behold there was my
Araucana Dorey in the corner in a make-shift nest. I grabbed her to
hug the stuffing out of her when hubby exclaimed, "Whoa!!" I look
down and there are about six eggs under her. Five blue eggs, and a
brown one. Before we could blink Abbey-Buff hopped on the eggs!
LOL! So we shooed the girls out into the greenhouse and collected
the eggs.
We are still missing one chicken. So, we repeat the search coming up
empty handed.
Back to the predator. I get my gloves, staple gun, snips, and
chicken wire. I am going to sure up the coop more since we have
obviously still lost one girl...
Our coop is divided into two parts, with the back part separated by a
swing half-door. It is all meshed off except over the door. I go
through to mesh that up when I hear a scuffle behind me. I turn and
there is my little Australorp tucked up in the eve of the coop. I
pulled her out and hit the motherlode! 19 eggs under her broody
little hiney!
If you do the math that is where all of my eggs for the past week
have gone! I spent the rest of the morning sealing off the back part
of the coop, the rest of the eaves, and securing all the other side
rooms in the greenhouse! Add that to the three I got out of the boxes today and vwa-la- 28 eggs today!
I checked the eggs using the sink/float in water method. Any other
tips? I had two floaters, and two that stood up on end that I
They crack me up and surprise me daily!!!
Sorry I haven't posted much lately. I emptied my in boxes by the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and this is what my in boxes looked like on the Monday after! Not to mention it is tax time for the town again, end of year tax prep for the biz has begun... and this doesn't show the work that arrived via e-mail... I will get around to visit everyone as soon as I can!


Renna said...

It would seem boredom is NOT a problem at your place! ;-Þ

I enjoyed reading the mystery of the missing eggs, and I'm so happy that both girls turned up alive and well.

Shannon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shannon said...

Hubby and I were talking about how we would sit around Bored when we were young, and how hard it is to even imagine that feeling now! Too funny!

nikkicrumpet said...

I know absolutely nothing about chickens and their egg laying habits...so this was fun to read. And I'm really glad you got your missing chickens back!

Anonymous said...

That's a good one! I loved it. If they can they will find a nest you
haven't when they want to go broody!

If an egg is incubated for two days it will not be appitising to most
people. I would throw them away or hard boil them for the critters to
eat as a treat.


Life Of An Emt said...

sounds like the poor things are trying to nest...your enthusiasm over these chickens just tickle me to death. I wished I could share in your enthusiasm over these foul creatures but I grew up with them and have some painful memories and war stories over chickens! not to mention a scar in the back on my head that has left a permanent part in my hair from a banny golden seabright beautiful little rooster mean little ba$%#@ sorry had a flash back. I am going to try to find a picture of me and a chicken I raised from an incubator and make a post for you. I hope that picture isn't lost forever.