I have had a few intriguing mysteries since keeping chickens. Firstly there was the mystery of where Hannah Hen came from. That is now solved. Yesterday I had an egg mystery. Who laid that first little, brown egg? I did not think I would solve that mystery so quickly, if at all.
We were out for the morning and on our way home, we met up with my neighbour / friend Jay who was going for a run. We slowed down to say hello (as you do in the country) and she said she had heard my chooks as she walked past our house. Now that is quite unusual as my chooks are very quiet and I wouldn’t expect their gentle clucking as they scratch and peck to be heard from the road. So either something had frightened them (possibly some pesky sparrows had got caught in the run again while trying to steal food) or one of them had laid an egg.
When we got home I went straight outside to see if they were ok and I could only see two chooks. Hannah Hen (the bantam) and Hilda Hen (one of the Barnervelders). The coop and run are not very big so there was nowhere the third one could be hiding and I know that she can’t escape. Maybe she is sitting in the nest laying an egg. So I did what no chook would want anyone to do when trying to have a bit of privacy to lay her egg, I peeked inside. And there she was sitting on the nest. How exciting. I left her to it of course and went back inside.
After a few minutes Helen came out of that nesting box telling the whole world she had laid an egg. She was so loud that the whole neighbourhood probably heard her. She went on and on and she looked dazed and a bit shocked.
I went quickly to the nesting box and lifted the lid. There in the same nest as yesterday was an exact replica of yesterday’s egg. Aha, so now I know who laid that egg.
But then maybe I don’t know who laid yesterday’s egg. Yesterday the layer was very quiet and it was laid before 8am. Today’s layer was raucously loud and it was laid at lunchtime. So maybe yesterdays was Hilda’s and todays was Helen’s? Hilda does tend to take things in her stride and I wouldn’t expect her to make a fuss. But Helen is a bit more like me. The smallest thing can become a huge drama. One thing I can be fairly sure of though, is that both eggs came from a Barnevelder as they were almost identical in size and colour. I can’t imagine Hannah Hen’s bantam egg would be an exact replica.