Saturday, September 13, 2014

Our First Egg!

If you don’t follow me on Instagram then you probably didn’t see my huge announcement… the first egg was laid!!! We are all so very excited about this. It was a moment of taking so many pictures. 

Now, we were sure that our black sex-link Oreo was going to be the first to lay. She had been showing signs that she is ready to lay for about a month now. But no, we were really surprised by which chicken laid today.

This morning started out with us trying to figure out the configuration new roosting bars to help eliminate the roosting wars we have going on. (An entirely different saga going on there.) We had to kick the chickens out of the coop while we were installing it. And outside the door to the run all we could hear was serious squawking by Penny our Ideal. Now this chicken will squawk at you whenever you are not doing what she wants you to do so I didn’t worry about it. She couldn’t be roaming the coop while we were moving everything around. After Hubby got everything secured we opened the run door and Penny came marching in giving us a stern clucking to. Then she jumped into the nesting box she has claimed as her own and settled in.

We watched her for a few minutes then we decided to give her some privacy. Not even 10 minutes later she laid her very first egg! 

First Egg!

Now I am sure she was a bit confused about the whole ordeal. I would be. I let her sit there for a while as I was busy taking pictures, of course. Penny stood there for a few minutes then she started checking out her little baby egg. And she would then look at me and then look down. 

What just happened!?!

Then the last thing I expected happened. She rolled the egg under her chest and proceeded to lay on the egg. I watched her for a bit longer and she started getting more comfy and settled in. She started rearranging the straw in the nesting box around her. It was so very clear she was not planning on moving – she had gone broody on me! What!?! Broody? Really? Who has ever seen a hen go broody with her very first egg? This chicken has shown no signs of having a broody personality at any point in her short 21 weeks of life.

First Egg

What was I going to do with her? I gave her some more time to come to terms with the major ordeal she just went through. Then for a brief moment she stood up to rearrange her egg and nest and I seized the opportunity to grab the egg. 

First Egg

But not wanting to stress her out I put a golf ball that was in a different nest into the box. She was not happy with me putting my hands anywhere near her and she bit me. She settled herself in and I proceeded to tell the world of Instagram. 

Tiny Egg
It's so tiny! Just a little larger than a golf ball.

Sometime later I went out to check on her and she was out of the box and acting like her normal trouble making self. 

I wonder who is going to lay next…

Monday, August 25, 2014

Egg Watch

Mommyhood AdventuresWe are on egg watch here at the backyard chicken coop. Three of our chickens are 18 weeks old this week and two of them are closer to 19 weeks. And from all my research, most chickens start laying between 16 and 24 weeks depending on the breed. We are so excited about the prospect of walking into the coop and finding a beautiful egg that we check on the chickens several times a day. We haven't found one yet but believe me I will announce it to the world.

Oreo, our black sex-link, is one of the younger chickens but we are sure she will be the first to lay us an egg. Her comb and wattles have fully grown and became very red when she was about 15 weeks old it was then I knew it was time to start switching out the feed and add a dish of oyster shell free choice in the coop. Then a couple weeks ago she started acting like she was going to lay soon. She is nesting like she is preparing for an arrival, constantly building nests everywhere she can. One of those nests is in the bushes in the back yard – not where I want her laying eggs. What has thoroughly convinced us that it will be any day now is the afternoon she started clucking and pacing around the coop totally agitated and somewhat confused. And I kid you not, her facial expressions are exactly that of a girl who just started her cycle and was really not as prepared to deal with all of what comes with that as she thought. She kicked every other chicken out of the coop and kept pacing back and forth completely confused about what she should do next. We put her in a nesting box and let her stay in there while she kept clucking. After a few more minutes she started playing with the straw in the box and checking everything out. Then she just stopped and looked at all of us humans (me and the girls) who were staring intently at her.

Mommyhood Adventures
Oreo in the Nesting Box

She had become completely calm and acted like nothing was wrong. She jumped out ate some food and drank some water then went out to the run with the other chickens. Everything she did was exactly what a laying chicken does (from everything I have read) when they are going to lay. The only difference… no egg! I was so bummed that after all of that, there wasn’t a prize in the box. A few more times she has behaved just like that since then and every time we see her, we very quickly put her in a nesting box hoping she gets the idea that if she feels like her bottom is going to explode (seriously I feel for those girls going through that almost every day) she will hop in a box herself.

Mommyhood Adventures
Oreo ~ 17 Weeks

I am thinking of taking a poll about when she will start laying and then who will lay next.

Mommyhood Adventures
Penny ~ 18 Weeks

What do you think?

Mommyhood Adventures
Sparky ~ 18 Weeks

When do you think we will be getting our first egg?

Mommyhood Adventures
Vanellope ~ 17 Weeks

And what lucky chicken will be next?

Mommyhood Adventures
Daisy ~ 17 Weeks

Want to make a guess? The prize? The satisfaction of being correct.

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