Egg production, on the whole, has been very slow. Yesterday, for example, there were only two. Hard cheese, gentle reader, but times are hard. Days are short and cold, and chickens are not vending machines.
Imagine my shock and delight, then, when I got eight eggs today. EIGHT. I haven’t seen an eight-egg day in a good long while. With Hermione, Tallulah and Trixie going on hiatus, and the others slowing down, I have learned to expect four or five. Six would be a very good day.
How did I get eight? Well, to start the day off, Trixie laid one of her infrequent eggs, closely followed by the Hideaway tag team of Haley and Hermione (always in that order).
Alexia left me one in the coop (she’s the only hen laying in the coop these days), and it was bigger than her usual. Then Maisie and Buffy squabbled over the Hideaway (which is the place to lay these days, it would seem), leaving me two more. Six. I was thrilled.
But then, I went into the barn mid-afternoon to give the girls a treat of cooked oatmeal topped with flax seed oil, dried red chilis, soy milk, and two scrambled eggs. Mmmm.
They all came flocking around, but for one of the two big Brahma girls (it’s hard to tell them apart if you can’t see a leg band). I looked over to The Baby Box, and saw a white and black face peering over the edge. Pip or Tallulah? I couldn’t be sure as her left leg was away from me. Either laying an egg would be an exciting prospect; Tallulah had been out of the game for weeks, but Pip hasn’t laid recently, either. She was standing Baby Box Right, and Pip tends to lay Baby Box Left…
She was standing, and her eyes had that glazed-over look. When I got close, I could hear her straining, as though constipated. My timing was perfect; time to catch an egg.
I placed my hand under her vent, and waited for the egg to drop. As I was waiting, I could see another egg underneath her. Coraline. Seven. I still couldn’t see the laying hen’s leg band, so I was going to have to wait to tell by the egg itself.
The egg dropped into my hand. When I pulled it out from under her, it was steaming, still wet with bloom. It was a big, beautiful, crazy-ass, bi-colour Tallulah egg.
What you’re seeing, above, is not a trick of light and shadow; her eggs are actually one colour at one end and another at the other. I had almost despaired of seeing another one of these again. Okay, now I’m just being dramatic…but I wasn’t sure when I’d see another.
So, eight. Who were the two hold outs?
Abby and Pip.