Eggs, we love them here at Happy Earth Farm. I eat two of them fried on sprouted toast every single morning. We also have a large customer base that eats them every single morning too, so that means we need every single egg our girls lay.
We have about 55 laying hens…..no I don’t have an exact number because chickens don’t stand still long enough for me to count. We have high producing breeds so a typical hen will lay about 4 or 5 eggs per week. They usually lay their eggs in the morning and then we collect them every afternoon. I bring my wire egg basket out at “putting up” time and carefully fill it with a beautiful array of brown, tan and blue colored eggs.
In the chicken coop, we have 11 spacious nesting boxes. I am mindful of keeping them filled with the perfect amount of pine savings so that the hens experience pure comfort while birthing my breakfast. There are squabbles between hens that stay longer than they need to after delivering an egg, but Fabio does a good job of acting as mediator.
If all of the hens would just stay with the program of taking their turn in the prescribed area for laying, I would have no issue with them, but for some reason, four of the “naughty” Americauna hens refuse to lay their eggs in the coop. They lay their eggs all over the place! In the afternoon I am not typically in the mood for an Easter egg hunt so I bitch and moan as I make the rounds around the house and barn looking for eggs.
I have found eggs in a half full bag of pine shavings, on the seat of the tractor, on a black plastic bag that was in the garbage can, in the greenhouse, behind a piece of propped plywood, on top of the broiler brooder and even in the Wiz Bang Chicken Plucker! Every time I find a mislaid egg I scream, “THIS IS NOT A NEST BOX!” but they don’t seem to care.
For a few weeks, the four naughty girls have had a communal nest in the front of the house tucked in deeply by the Confederate Jasmine growing by the stoop. So simple! I just stopped there at the end of the day to collect what they had deposited, usually 3 beautiful bluish green eggs, before heading into the farm shop. For several days now I have stopped by to grab the eggs only to find their nest empty. Damn!!!! I know they are laying them somewhere new, but where?!
Since then I have gone on an egg hunt. Nothing. No eggs in their usual hiding places. And then yesterday it hit me…..No! Please no! Please don’t let my suspicions be true. Yep, just as I suspected, those crafty hens decided to really f**k with me by moving their communal nest wayyyyyy under the newly constructed tent foundation. Yes folks, every evening I will be belly down, hair and arms full of spider webs, army crawling through fire ant piles to retrieve eggs.
I will do just about anything for my morning fix.