Tonight, as Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac moves westward and–thankfully–away from Tampa Bay, the hens and I are fluffing our feathers in relief. Oh, we’ll still get a full day or so of flooding rains, 30-50-per hour winds, and general annoying cloudiness. Enough annoyances to prohibit egg-layers from delivering the goods for a day or two. And for me to endure an angry-eyed Mabel cursing through pressed beak from the cover of her coop while the downpours persist outside.
Of course, since only one out of three hens are actually LAYING eggs right now, this shouldn’t put much of a wrinkle into the sadly-lacking inventory gracing the top shelf of my fridge. Here’s why:
Mabel’s still not doing squat. Been three months since I’ve seen a green egg from that clucker. Why? I have to chalk it up to the dregs of summer heat here in Florida. Perhaps this is her way of requesting central air. Or she’s invisibly molting (since I don’t notice a plethora of brown feathers floating around). Or her little egg-making system is simply taking a break. Since she won’t utter a peep about the whole thing, and she appears otherwise perfectly happy, I shall not stress about it.
Marguerite delivered a whopping surprise last month in the form of a pile of worm-infested doo-doo. Now please understand that I don’t make a habit of peering at poo, but as a general matter of responsible chicken health monitoring, a mother hen must do just that on occasion. And so, after recovering from the mortification of this new tidbit of knowledge, I scoured the internet to research treatment, and off I went to the feed store for some de-wormer. Few drops into the girls’ water for 24 hours, and the worms are dead. Only bummer: can’t eat their eggs for 3-4 weeks. Do you know how difficult it is to throw away those beautiful eggs? And now she’s molting, which means no eggs from the Marge Egg-Laying Factory for two months.
And now for Chicken #3: Goldie emerged from broodville ten days ago and laid her first egg yesterday. It was like the egg gods finally smiled down from above. “We’re back in business!!” I practically screamed to the heavens upon discovering it, hands cradling the pink-brown orb of goodness and lifting it to the skies with a slightly demonic, glazed expression on my face. “Scrambled Sundays, here we come!”
Backyard chickens: always a source of wonderment.