Yesterday, a first. A broken egg in the nesting box. The nesting box in question being occupied by a brooding Goldie for the past two weeks (less the forced outdoor time imposed by her cruel human mother several times a day).
I’d noticed Marguerite in the box–squished up against Goldie as usual–getting ready to make her first deposit of the week. (…while i grinned in delight and rubbed my hands together anxiously…) After the egg dropped (and yes, you can literally hear the egg hit the wood bottom of the box–thank God their shells are so hard), and after Marge’s obligatory egg-sitting period of about an hour, I checked the box, intending to remove it from Goldie’s broody clutches, and what I saw was not good: a broken egg, split wide open, its contents mostly missing. More alarming was the egg on Goldie’s beak.
Why is this alarming to chicken keepers? It is said that once a chicken gets a taste of those little golden (or green) nuggets, it’s a hard habit to break. Many chickens who get into this habit end up on the dinner table–a fate my Goldie would never endure, of course. But if it became a problem, she could just make her way back to the farm.
They say the guilt is obvious if you’re caught with egg on your face–er, beak. But in this case, my detective skills are seeking more data. Did the egg break upon falling? That would be a first, in a year of successful long-range egg launches at The City Hen. Did it break during a crowded scuffle between brooder and layer? It could happen. Or did it break from the swift delivery of a sharp peck by said brooder? One may never know. At least not until more eggs are laid.
And as I wrap up this blog entry, Mabel climbs her way up into the coop to make a deposit. We’ll just have to sit on this one a little bit longer before we know.
Photo caption: Is this the beak–I mean face–of a criminal?