Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Henhouse drama

Brian or I have been checking for eggs often to help prevent any more "casualties." Yesterday Brian came to the house with two eggs, complaining that they were "icky." Looked like yolk smeared on them to me, but he said there were no shells or wetness in the nest box. I went down later to see for myself, and found a puddle of egg white in the bottom of the nest box - but no egg shell in sight. I cleaned up the mess, added more shavings, and when my tired DH got home asked him to add another piece of trim per Suzanne's suggestion so the hens couldn't kick out the shavings as easily. He obliged this morning before leaving for work. Morgan immediately availed herself of the amended accommodations.While I was snapping pictures of her and the new waterer and feeder Rick bought and installed before we left to go camping last Friday,Ebony entered the henhouse.She seemed inordinately interested in Morgan's business - and then pecked her in the bottom! Morgan left the box with a squawk and a flutter, showering the witchy woman with shavings.Soon Morgan returned to the nesting box, followed closely by Ebony. Not one to let nature take its sometimes-cruel course, I parked myself at the doorway of the henhouse so Morgan could lay her egg in peace. The Rhodies went in and out of the henhouse at will, but the newcomers are still much too leery of me to venture that close. The results of my "mother hen" efforts were some decent chicken portraits - and the freshest egg possible.
Later in the day when I checked for eggs again, TWO Rhode Island Reds were in the same nestbox! By the end of today we had four intact eggs for the first time, and the nest boxes remained well padded.

That's it for now at . . .

7 comments:

Becky Utecht said...

Very nice chicken portraits Michelle! I'm glad the extra bedding helped yesterday and you got intact eggs, but I'd keep an eye on Ebony.

Tammy said...

Hi Michelle,
Always something to occupy our time, isn't there? Hopefully the extra shavings will help. Have you got oyster shells out for them? Also, if you can find some of those plastic eggs (usually at crafts stores) that LOOK like real eggs, the egg eater might get tired of pecking around on the plastic. Ebony sure is a beauty...and looks like she knows it!
Tammy

Garrett808 said...

does the egg eater break the eggs prior to them hatching them? If she isn't eating the shell, that could still be 'inside' the other hen.

If she is eating the shell for calcium i'd get her some grit or oyster shell..i know my pigeons go through it terribly when laying eggs and they only lay two every month :)

I'd keep an eye on that bully....for as beautiful as she is...she could be spelling trouble!

Nancy K. said...

Oh, THAT's all the higher the nest boxes have to be??? How come I was thinking they had to be up high? That would work MUCH better for poor Madonna, she still can't really fly...

I need to build me some nest boxes....

;-)

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

If you dont have them already, I second (or third?) the suggestion that you get oyster shells. Calcium deficiency is the biggest reason hens get into the habbit of eating eggs.
I looked back at the two previous posts; sorry cant help you with the scarf; looks like you had a blast at horse camp! Looks like something I would enjoy too :)

Pamela said...

Lovely portraits! And I am so jealous of your eggs. I'm at 5 months and counting with my pullets and still nothing at all.

kristi said...

Boy, these chickens sure have been quite the little project! I do find them to be a fun addition to the little farm however! I enjoyed the little story that played out on the blog with the chickens.....great pictures! Hope your son & dog are having a better day:)