For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know that I love my chickens. Hey, what can I say I'm a city girl with a country heart.
Well, two of our 'ugly' Chinese Silky frizzles went broody a couple of weeks ago. Vicky and I had been planning another hatch and as you saw from a prior post, we met up and collected some fertile eggs to give our girls.
On Sunday I noticed that Adah (our stunningly beautiful Silver Laced Wyandotte) was climbing into Blondies nest and disturbing both her and her eggs to lay her own egg. WHAT THE?!
I knew we might have a few issues as we have a bit of a funny set up. Hmmmm, maybe I need to explain that before I go on...
When we first got chickens we got an OTT chicken house. We had no idea what we were doing and brought something that looked and is a lot better than what we needed (although I still LOVE it). It was also perfect for 6 chooks which is what we were aiming to have.
But then our wee flock grew. We decided to hatch some babies and we brought a $30 beauty off Trade Me (a NZ version of Ebay) which was just perfect for a broody hen and her chicks.
As the chicks grew and we talked to the council about how many chooks we could have, we realised we could have more than our 6 without needing a permit (we have a double site) so we decided to buy another chook house. Then the new chicks could have one house and the oldies could have the original.
Unfortunately it didn't quite work like that. They all decided over a period of weeks to crowd in together. It was so funny. The 'new' house became a very expensive nesting box. But they all knew exactly where to lay their gorgeous new eggs and we would see them lining up when there were too many in a box at a time. It was not unusual to see one in each nesting box. One on the 'landing' to the nesting box, one at the door, and then two or more waiting on the ground below. I loved it.
So we'd been debating what to do with the whole set up this time around (we have TWO broody's). We had put Tiny in the small broody box but it wasn't working with Blondie where everyone else lays. So we blocked off the 'new' house allowing Blondie and her (soon to be) chicks.
Ahhh, but now we had a problem. Sunshine, Mullet and Adah wanted to lay and they couldn't get into their traditional box to lay.
They ran up and down the side of the fence where they normally go for hours. Sunshine got really annoyed with the whole process and started having a go at the other two. I was wandering around watching, then walking away, then being drawn back in. I was sooooo stressed. Andy kept telling me to act like a farmer. Hmmm, that didn't help!
We were going out, so decided to chuck the two 'nice' chooks into the old house and see what happened (trying to show them, that this is the new nesting box!). Came back after 1.5 hours and Adah had laid an egg. Only just! Still it was better than nothing. I put it into the actual nesting box, not the floor and left them to it for a little longer. But now they had access back outside.
Going back a little while later, and Adah's egg had been chucked out of the nesting box onto the ground. But at least Mullet had laid her beautiful blue egg. Also on the ground.
I decided I couldn't stress anymore and just left them to it. Final check was that Sunshine had laid her HUGE egg in the house, in the nesting box. What a star!
Yesterday, a day on, we had eggs all laid in the correct place. My chickens are genius! And I've stopped stressing (and really why was I stressing? They can lay anywhere. We'd just have to go hunting!).
Ok, bit of a long story, but it's been a big deal around here. Thanks for staying with me if you're still reading! Grin.
Now to wait patiently (yeah right!) until the 30th when we can candle eggs to find out how many little babies are growing. Then birth date is the 11th October. Yipppeeeeee!