Monday, July 07, 2008
A few times in the last week, I'd heard Jackie Blackie squawking out in the chicken coop, and commented on how noisy she was. I knew it was her, because she's always been the noisiest of our seven chickens. Black Australorps have a tendency toward loudness, I've read at least once.
She's also our biggest pullet (young female chicken), and I knew she was close to beginning to lay. (We actually wondered if Jackie Blackie might end up being our only rooster because she was so big and noisy from the beginning!)
I put the nesting boxes in the coop a few weeks ago, and meant to stick some plastic Easter eggs in them to show the girls where to lay when they were ready. But I've been tired and busy this week, and while I checked the coop from the egg collecting door a couple of times, I didn't do a thorough search. Friends had stopped asking about eggs, for the most part, although I'd been telling everyone a month ago we should have some by the end of June.
Last night we had friends over for dinner, so we were out in the back, barbecuing and watching the kids swim, and letting the chickens out to forage. My oldest was checking the nesting boxes, when he noticed a tiny round brown thing on the other side of the coop under the sleeping perches. Our first egg!
I was so excited, I forgot for the moment that I was supposed to be heading inside to fix the veggies. And that I was wearing a white skirt and knit top -- not exactly attire for climbing into a chicken coop. Actually, I didn't care. And thankfully, my arms were long enough that I only had to go in from the waist up to reach in and collect, not just one, but EIGHT eggs!
Apparently, Jackie had been laying all week, and hid her little clutch of eggs in a spot under the window. The single egg we saw from the collecting door was separate from the clutch.
So, there we have it! At least one laying hen! I'm assuming they're all Jackie Blackie's because they're all the same pretty shade of coffee-with-cream brown, and the same sweet, medium size.
I'm in love.