Mabel hasn’t given me an egg in over a week. I wondered if she had started laying mysterious green-blue orbs around the yard, perhaps, since she’s been enjoying so much free-range time. So I embarked on my own little Easter egg hunt. Checked around the bushes, lifted overhanging tree skirts, peeked behind the pool. No eggs. I wondered if she was impacted–a bad thing that can happen to hens who are, as they say, backed up. No, the signs of impaction weren’t all there. She was eating and drinking normally, breathing normally, and acting normally; just not laying eggs normally.
And then when I opened the coop door this morning to clean up the hens’ mess after roosting all night (a prolific pooping time for all involved), there it was: the nighttime egg drop. A broken green-shelled pile of vibrant yellow yolk and egg white sat on the night’s newspaper below Mabel’s roost.
My first thought was, “Oh, how sad: a wasted egg!” My second thought was relief that she’d finally gotten one out. Perhaps she was impacted, after all. I’ll have to research it this weekend on backyardchickens.com.
On a completely unrelated note, I had my house appraised this week. Upon entering the backyard, the appraiser spotted the coop and exclaimed in glee, “You have chickens! We’re getting three this weekend!” How delighted I was to embark on a little chicken chat with someone whose world I felt so separate from, about something so mutually exciting.
Backyard chickens: let the movement grow!