Chicken and the Egg

18 Apr

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Having chickens should mean cartons of fresh organic eggs and a steady income from selling them.  However, like most things, reality has a way of intervening in the quest for a picture-perfect existence.

Of our two lovely, off-the ground nest boxes, one is occupied by a pile of broody banty hens on a mound of eggs in various stages of rotting.  The normally mild-mannered hens refuse to leave their pile of eggs, puff up and emit a horrible screech while viciously pecking if you attempt to remove their eggs.

They have no problem rolling the eggs with their beak to rearrange the pile and sometimes give them too vigorous a push so the eggs fly out of the nest box and land in a cracked mess on the coop floor.

This is the state of one nest box.  That leaves a second nest box for the full-sized hens, and it is usually taken up by a particularly large Cuckoo Maran who has the bad habit of pecking a hole in her own egg when she’s done laying.

The addition of on-the floor cardboard nest boxes didn’t lure a single hen.  They prefer to lay in nests inside the potting shed behind the lawnmower, in a thick patch of stinging nettles behind an old flower pot, or in the rhododendrons in front of the house.  We usually discover these nests of 30 + eggs when they have reached the nearly exploding stage.

So, we have about one dozen eggs in the fridge when we should be collecting 14 eggs a day and selling them for big bucks.

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5 Responses to “Chicken and the Egg”

  1. Mary Strong-Spaid April 18, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    Sounds like your hens are independent thinkers. 🙂
    Cats are like that too.
    Buy them a nice little bed….and they will sleep in the sink or on the computer keyboard.
    Buy them expensive toys, and they’ll ignore those toys and play with a grape that fell on the floor in the kitchen.

    • A New Path April 18, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

      Very true! Animals always have their own ideas. Our cat used to sleep on top of the fridge and ignore her cat bed.

  2. Marietta April 18, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    The chicken pic is ADORABLE!
    I was laughing so hard at the eggs in the stinging nettles and the banties with their hoard of rotten eggs.

  3. subsistencesuburb April 19, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    I just got three hens this spring (first time having chickens). I really hope this doesn’t happen. I would like the eggs to be in one place every time haha

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