Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Harley's Nest

Last year, my chickens that were hatched in April were laying by this time, so I’ve been on the lookout.  My older girls are molting, so it’s been a very dry egg season.  I’ve noticed that Harley, our Silver Spangled Wyandotte, has been separating herself from the group and wandering off, even flying over the fence at times.  She always returned by late afternoon, so I didn’t think too much of it.  Then, this morning, she exhibited some peculiar behavior. 

She was pacing back and forth in front of the fence, obviously looking for a place to escape.  Her pacing was of the urgent “I have an egg in me and am about to pop” kind. 

So I broke the rules.   I opened the gate and let her out.  Then I followed her.  
Sure enough, she bolted over to my neighbor’s driveway.  Behind a large bottle of windshield wiper fluid and a bunch of tools near the garage, Harley settled into a quiet settled activity. I tried not to disturb her.   Twenty minutes later I went back and sure enough, there were little white eggs in the corner behind the snow shovel.

Can Harley not see where the eggs belong?  I even put a “demo” egg in the nesting box in her coop so that she’d know where to put hers.  Would it be horrible of me not to let her out of the coop tomorrow until she figures out where to lay?  Once a nest is established, how hard is it to break the habit?

This is what passes for a cliff hanger around here!


David said...

What a fun post! You are a great detective to figure out where she was laying those eggs. I've learned NOT to let my chickens out on Saturday morning until about 10 o'clock. I lost track of one, but thankfully it went back into the nest area and she was laying her egg. I can imagine they will lay an egg just about anywhere.It's so nice to have another gardener who's also a 'chicken' person.
BTW, that's a beautiful chicken. David/ :-) Tropical Texana/ Houston

Becky said...

Perhaps you could borrow your neighbor's snow shovel and washer fluid and set up a "Private little corner" for her. Who knows maybe she prefers that decor. I raised cockatiels not chickens. Sometimes they nest where they want to for their own featherbrained reasons.

the home tome said...

Ah, the best laid plans...