Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It's Like Easter, But in July

Easter is fun, right? You wake up early, maybe sneak in a piece of chocolate before breakfast, and then go hunt for some eggs and other hidden treasures... and there's ham, later. That's always a plus. It's like that here, except I'm not getting any chocolate out of it. Or ham, darn it all.

I don't know what's up with the big girls, but all of a sudden it seems like no one wants to lay their eggs in the coop, where they're supposed to. Add to it that the new ladies should be starting to lay eggs as well, and I'm starting to have fits.

On the plus side, I did get a cool picture of a frog this morning, when I went to check one of the alternate nests. (That's the nest in the background. Under our deck, where we park the mower and store the hay for the rabbits. Just like Easter.) The barred rock was out there making noise like she'd just done her job, so I went to look- but this guy was all I found. Harumph.

We found a secret nest a couple of weeks ago that one americauna was using- our neighbor dog, Rosie, alerted us to its presence. We were sitting out by the fire, enjoying a couple of beers, when she strolled over to a patch of ivy at the base of a tree and comes up with an egg in her mouth. Totally nonchalant, like it was a trip to the grocery store. There were probably 8 eggs in there, and they weren't new... I put them in some water, just to check and see. Not like we were planning to eat them ourselves, but the dogs are always down for some scrambled eggs. These floated about halfway up, and were a teeny bit funky, so straight into the compost pile they went. Gross.

The irony that Americaunas are also called Easter Eggers isn't lost on me. Not one bit.

So, short of penning everyone up in the coop and run for the next couple of weeks, I need to figure out a) where all of our eggs are going, and b) how to get the new girls laying inside the coop where they're supposed to. I like letting them free range in the summer; not only are the eggs better and the yolks brighter, but it saves us some money in feed. And it's summer, for cryin' out loud! Everyone should be able to wander around in the sunshine when it's nice like this.

Have you found any secret nests from your free-range chickens? What did you do to get them back on track? Stop by Facebook and let me know- I'd appreciate the help!

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