Tuesday, October 13, 2009
We finally have eggs!
She started laying a little bit early for a Barred Rock but she is our smartest, most gregarious chicken, so it's not really surprising that she is ahead of the rest of the class.
The night before her first egg, she is acting really weird when I put them all to coop. She won't roost and she's making a strange little worried sound.
Saturday morning I open the coop and on the floor of their pen is that little brown egg! I nearly piddle myself in all of the excitement. Her first egg is perfect with a really hard shell and its kind of shiny and smooth. We put it in the fridge and hoped for another one in a few days or so.
Sunday morning rolls around and sure enough, there is no egg in the coop and I am crestfallen even though I know logically not to expect one. I let the ladies out to scratch for bugs in the yard and I go back inside to make breakfast. A few minutes later, Kung Pao starts making all kinds of racket; she's squawking and clucking and just making an all around ruckus. I go outside and start scanning the sky for hawks or eagles or UFO's (all highly unlikely midtown) since she's pitching such a fit. All seems well and I return to the kitchen. She keeps up her kerfuffle for another twenty minutes or so all the while the other hens are beside themselves with worry and panic. They just cannot understand what has their flock- mate in such a tither.
Once the ruckus dies down, I make my way out back to make sure that she is okay and I cannot find her anywhere. She usually runs out to peck our toes and beg for treats but I search the yard and her pen and she isn't to be found. The other girls are huddled in a corner by the side yard fence and I worry that she has somehow gotten out and the others are trying to follow suit.
As I get closer, I see her telltale markings hiding underneath Tigger Bear's boxwoods (where he used to hide during his severe Alzheimer's episodes and chew on the branches to calm himself). As I re
She's been laying for about a month now and it's kind of cool because she has never missed a day. I've heard that the first few times a hen lays she may be hit or miss but this gal has been a little egg machine since day one.
A few weeks after she started laying she developed an eye infection, which I found out is fairly common once they start laying.
The standard treatment is Tetracycline, which is a livestock antibiotic. It's fairly safe; you can still consume the eggs while dosing your flock, but I am not too sure that I want to anymore.
She's been on the TC for about a week and we didn't really notice anything unusual until she laid the other day. I actually thought I was being punked and that one of the neighbors had snuck into our yard and replaced her egg with a store bought variety.
Check out the difference between one of her week old eggs and this monster: