Yesterday we found our first double-yolk egg. We’re not sure who laid it, but I think it was probably Boots or Bitchzilla. It’s huge, but it was cracked because the shell was so misshapen and thin. So we cooked it up for Barley. Hopefully they’ll be more careful next time so I can eat it. Everyone knows quantity means quality.
Evidently something in the last few weeks with the snow, cold, wind, rain and darkness was enough to cause Layla to start molting. Hopefully she gets it over with soon and will start laying eggs again. None of he hens has laid an egg in nearly a month now.
Even with the ceramic heat lamp, the coop dipped down to 33F overnight. Their water dish had frozen, so I swapped it out with a warm bottle this morning. They seem to be in high spirits, though I suspect it’s hard to seem lazy when you’re cold. I’m going to look for some bricks to heat in the oven and stick out there tonight, though they’ll lose their heat rather quickly. Maybe it’s time to upgrade the ceramic bulb or reinvestigate insulation options.
I feel a little like I’m stealing a blog post idea from George Orwell, but today was a 3 egg day. Evidently the ladies are happy with the ceramic heat lamp we put in the coop over the weekend. We’re averaging around 1.8 eggs a day now, which is fantastic.
The ladies seem to like pumpkin more after it’s been roasted. Can’t say I blame them.
Yesterday was the first time that all three hens laid eggs on the same day. Additionally, they all laid them in the nesting box! Hunting all over the yard wasn’t necessary this time. I think they’re starting to “get it.”
The decoy is a golf ball that some friends made for me in high school. Oddly enough, we may see them again for the first time in nearly 8 years this Friday.
Two of the three hens have been laying, but it appears that Bitchzilla, despite her early lead in size and attitude, is now the most timid, and most immature. Well, she may be on the verge of maturity now as we’ve found an egg that looks like a first try. At first we thought it was broken because of the odd pitch it was at and the weird shape. When I picked it up to remove it from the coop, I realized that it was still fully intact, but the shell was only slightly more solid than a balloon. Instead of a full egg, it was a thick membrane around a yolk.
When hens start laying, you should expect a few eggs that aren’t quite done. Some will just bee the inner goo (white & yolk), and some with have various stages of calcification as the shell machine comes online. Looks like we’re about to the point of having a working egg production line.
Now, if only we could get them to lay in the nesting box instead of all over the run. It would be nice to have some eggs that weren’t covered in droppings and feathers.
I think that’s one of the sub-rules under the major rule “Don’t let an idiot cook a $200 egg.” The major rule includes such wisdom because you can’t see if the butter has browned, or burnt. It also recommends against giving your toddler an easy to open bottle of bubbles, and something about having a diaper on. Needless to say, it was didn’t taste quite like the $200 I expected, but it’s unclear if that is because of my distracted, clumsy cooking, or because I adulterated the mixture with 2 other free eggs.
Don’t get me wrong, they were still good, though ended up as scrambled instead of fried and on a sandwich with fresh lettuce, tomato and cheese. But it was still quite good. Even Ella ate all of hers.
Michelle made breakfast with the third free egg (or $50 egg if we decide to reduce the loss on the first 3) and it looked much better than mine, but I trust the difference was all in lighting. And maybe years of successful egg work.
Someone finally laid an egg. We don’t know who, but Clem noticed it in the dirt below the arborvitae. We’re going to call this the $200 egg so all the next to come are free eggs.
Last night I finally clipped Layla and Boots’s wings. Clipping their wings actually means you trim the ends of the primary flight feathers, the long ones at the end. You only clip on one sides so they don’t have adequate balance to fly.
I’ve been putting it off for some time, simply because I didn’t want to clip until it was necessary. I’ve read about it several times, even watched some YouTube videos. Well, it took less than a minute for each chicken. Most of the time was spent just picking them up and getting them comfortable. The clipping took only a few seconds, then they were off to eat some scratch.
Hopefully that’ll help keep poop off of everything. And flies.
George Orwell has some advice for clipping hens’ wings:
When clipping fowlsâ€™ wings, clip only one wing, preferably the right (left wing keeps the ovaries warm.)
Duly noted. Now if only we could get some eggs.