Thursday, September 29, 2016


Rocky laid the first egg. Yes, the chicken we thought was a rooster turned out to be a hen. Good thing we didn't cull her. She laid a full week earlier than expected so either she was a bit older or just precocious. 

For those who are also new to chickens and wondering about how you tell when they're getting ready to lay, we did have some early warning signs. First she squatted in front of me and let me gently pet her back feathers (none of my chickens likes to be touched - normally they run away if you reach for them). Then, a couple days later, she did the full-on butt-in-the-air position. Three days after that she laid her first egg. It was small but perfectly formed. 

So, egg #1 was laid on Saturday September 24th. 

The squatting behavior continued and then, Tuesday the 27th, Rocky took herself off to the coop for some alone time.

Waiting patiently
Rocky in the nest box
I've left the golfballs in the nest boxes to act as lures. And they're working. Both times Rocky went into the box she formed a circular nest around the balls. And then she formed a new nest for her egg. I had no idea it took so long to lay an egg. We waited a good 15 minutes before we had to leave for an appointment. The egg was there when we got back several hours later, so I don't know how long it actually took. But longer than 15 minutes, I can tell you that.
Golfball on left, new egg on right
Compared to a store egg, size large
Rocky's egg
Our egg has great yolk color and a nice thick white.
Store egg and Rocky egg
I scrambled some store eggs in with Rocky's egg to get enough volume for breakfast which means I have no idea if there was a flavor difference. I wish I'd scrambled just our egg so I could taste test it. Oh well, I'm sure there will be many more to come. The other hens are supposedly old enough as of yesterday. Not a single one of them is squatting yet though so I'm not holding my breath.

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