Green egg! Hallelujah! Mabel hath produced a cherished green egg for the first time since last May. She dropped it overnight (thankfully, on the soft shavings below her roost), and this morning I held it up to the sky and rejoiced to the egg gods, my exuberant face lit by rays of brilliant morning sun. I almost sang. Opera.
Who knows why chickens stop laying for nine months? According to my friend’s sweet little sassy 89-year-old mother (who raised chickens on a farm many moons ago), “Well, honey, sometimes they just need a break.” (Insert heavy Virginia accent.)
It could be that Mabel’s penchant for huge volumes of romaine lettuce were getting to her. After noticing loose droppings last week, I again took away her treasured half-stalk of daily lettuce, offering only a few small slips of the leaves to her inquiring beak. (And ignoring her frown of disgust. [Can chickens frown? Yes, I’m certain of it.]) I also increased the amount of protein in her diet (hello, expensive Morningstar garden veggie patties) and upped the crushed oyster shell content in her daily pellets. Judging by the way she dives into her food each day, I’m fairly certain she’s enjoying her grub.
Will this be a trend? Time will tell. These are days of prime egg-laying — Marguerite and Goldie are averaging five a week each — and so I expect Mabel’s little egg-laying machine to kick in and start spitting those green orbs off the production line. If only we could work on the timing now. No more overnight drops! C’mon, Mabel — you remember how to do it!