Reward: Skewered Lettuce

We’ve had quite a productive week in the hen house, despite the rocky start. Up until this week we had been having 3 eggs per day for the last week or so. Then we had a four egger, but one was dropped from the roost and cracked on the poop board. The other was jelly. This was a surprise to discover but I had read about eggs that have no shell and feel somewhat like Jello.

I knew that Lucy was the last to start laying eggs because I had put a trail camera in the hen house n the nests so that I confirm what I suspected. What I saw was Gertrude, Ethel and Khaleesi all laying their eggs in the nest between the hours of 7am and 11am. Lucy on the other hand, kept walking around, looking in the nests, getting in the nests, getting on top of the nests, getting off the nests, walking around and then finally settling on the roost and dropping another one from there.

I reached out to others on a Beginner’s Backyard Chickens group on Facebook to see if anyone else had a chicken dropping eggs from the roost, but never for any answers, just a few thumbs up for the photos I guess. Luckily our little Lucy figured things out and for the last three days we have been getting four eggs in the nests everyday.

As a reward for having a four-egg day and since it arrived in the mail from Amazon, I skewered a head of iceberg lettuce and hung it up in the chicken coop for the girls. They LOVED it! I watched the four of them peck at the hanging lettuce. At first when they pecked at it, it swang and swayed causing a couple of them having to duck.

When I returned, there was nothing left was the core. I was astonished that they were able to eat as much as they did cleaning the core like I have never seen. There wasn’t a scrap around to be found.

Lucy’s pinkish egg on the front left and Gertrude’s Jumbo sized eggs on the front right

Gertrude’s eggs have gotten quite large in the last few days. JUMBO size, for sure. There is a big difference between the eggs from the hens that have been laying for a while versus Lucy’s eggs which are much smaller. I thank the girls for the beautiful eggs every day. I am so happy that we have the chickens. We have been enjoying the eggs all sorts of ways – fried, scrambled and I’ll have poached soon, that is once I learn how to do a decent Hollandaise sauce.

In the Hen House – The Mystery of the Disappearing Xylophone

It will be three weeks this Sunday since getting our four Rhode Island Red pullets. It’s been an eggciting week here as we have had a total of 9 eggs laid since Monday. We thought we had narrowed it down to two of the girls, but that third egg yesterday made us think three hens were laying. But today we only got two eggs – so maybe they are all laying and take a day off every so often. They just started laying their eggs for the first time, so they are still figuring things out I’m guessing, as am I.

I’ve had so much fun watching them in the outdoor run hop around on the old wood ladder we never got around to putting in the wood furnace this winter. So glad it was too big to throw in and too lazy to fetch the sawz-all to slice it up, The chickens love it! After seeing that some enjoy sitting up on a swing, I made one out of some parachute cord and a thin piece of wood, also not burned this season.

Decorating the outdoor run with old logs and rocks has been so fun and I love watching them climb and hop around on all the obstacles I provided for them. As a new chicken mama, I couldn’t help but buy them a couple of toys as well. I read that they enjoy pecking at a xylophone, so about two weeks ago I bought a colorful, cheap xylophone and threw it in the outdoor run. They only seemed to peck at it when I tossed some grass on top of it and as they pecked at the grass it chimed a little. Not a lot. Occasionally one of them would walk on it and cause it to click, clack for a second.

A couple of days ago, I was in the outdoor run tidying things up when I noticed that the xylophone was gone. I had been raking their dust bath area and adding in more wood ash from our outdoor wood furnace and herbs from our garden, so I was pretty certain they hadn’t buried it somehow. But how could that happen? I had Mark take a look too just in case I missed it somehow. He didn’t find it either and is a little concerned about potential poltergeists with weird musical tastes now.

Photographic evidence of the missing xylophone

There is no way that an animal like a chipmunk or anything else could have dragged it out. We both just checked for breaches in our runs security – no breaches. This seems like a case for Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and the Bobbsie Twins perhaps!

Monday Morning Eggcitement!

This morning when I went out to the see the girls, I discovered the first of what I hope to be the first of many eggs. I was so excited, like a little girl who just got her Barbie Dream House excited. What an unbelievable feeling! I realize I didn’t actually lay the egg but wow! This is very cool for a first time chicken mama who was born and raised in NYC, let me tell you.

So excited, I went out about an hour later to reward the girls with some dandelion leaves when I noticed Gertrude was in the nesting box. So I gave her some privacy and returned 15 minutes or so later to discover she had laid an egg. So we collected our first two eggs ever today. Who the other layer is eggactly I’m not sure since there are three other candidates.

Gertrude

I Became a Chicken Mama Today!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! Today I became a chicken mama of four Rhode Island Reds. I’m so excited and a little nervous too as I’ve never raised chickens before. So this is completely uncharted waters for me. But I’m psyched to learn.