Recently at our homestead our Ameraucana chicken (Easter Egg layer) stopped laying her eggs and I could not understand this as the weather was warm and balmy and all of the chickens were now laying steadily now that Spring had arrived. We only have four chickens right now so I count on every single egg our chickens lay. They do usually lay enough to meet our needs for our household which is about 22 to 24 eggs per week. I always know when she is not laying because she is my only Easter Egg layer and she lays the palest milky green eggs that are just so lovely. I always share with my friends that we don’t need to dye Easter eggs as we have light green eggs, beige eggs, light brown eggs, and medium brown eggs and they look lovely together in a bowl or when they are hardboiled.
To backtrack a little bit, our chicken coop set up is kind of unique as it is a mobile chicken tractor that is connected to a run area in our wooded portion of our backyard. I would come home from work and every day sure enough she was out of the coop but wanted to quickly go back into the run with her feathered friends. I could not figure out how she was getting in and out of the coop, and then one day my husband “The Viking” in my life explained to me that she was basically hopping out of the coop from the chicken tractor coop door up to the top of the mason wire fence we had run for that area and so even with clipping her wings nothing much is stopping her now that she has learned her trick. What’s especially interesting is since she’s a chicken and she learned this trick to get out of the coop but she cannot figure out how to get back in the run.
We searched and searched for her eggs all over our backyard, and I even looked under the back steps to see if they were under there as she had hid them there before. Our yard is covered in pine straw a good part of the year so the chickens love to make nests with it. We checked the greenhouse, behind the shed, even behind the heating and air conditioning unit and our outdoor shower. A couple of days went by and we both work full-time so we never were able to see where she had been, just that she was waiting on us by the gate at the run to get back in with the other chickens.
Last week one evening while I was doing dishes my husband called out to me to meet him in the yard and said, “You have to check this out!” He looked at me with a big grin on his face and was standing over a couple of hay bales that had been covered up with a heavy tarp and sure enough our Easter Egg layer chicken had figured out a way to get under the tarp and had even burrowed a little nest for herself and her eggs.
We found nine eggs total and the good news is that the weather was mild and she made such a nice, snug nest that they were all fresh and protected from the rodents too. She has also decided to lay eggs in the tractor coop again, however, we are adding some reinforcements to the fence height since it’s garden season and we want to eat the vegetables first and whatever goes to seed or the bugs get too we will share with our chickens.
Every now and then I love to share a fun, humorous story with all of my fellow backyard chicken keepers and homesteader friends as I know you all can relate to such wonders. I wish you all well on your homesteading journey. I hope you all are having a wonderful Spring season and if you are like me you have either already planted or are getting ready to plant lots of seeds for a plentiful garden this summer. Our season starts fairly early in coastal North Carolina; we are in gardening Zone 8b and I will be harvesting radishes in about a month along with lettuces and I can’t wait!
Oh yes, and by the way, I made deviled eggs with all of those wonderful eggs.