Let The Laying Begin!

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For 18 weeks we waited patiently, checking daily for our first egg. The chickens were maturing nicely. Growing their wattles and combs, filling out like healthy chickens should. They started crouching in the mating pose. I hope I'm not nuts and the only one who pets their ladies when they do this. I think they are looking for the affection usually supplied by the resident rooster but we luckily only received hens in our hatchery mix. Anyway, when they do their crouch I pet their backs 3 times then pull on their tails and tell them, "now go lay me an egg!" The line up for their pet and pull!
Our ISA sex link hens were first to lay. By the time the others followed a week or 2 later, the ISAs sometimes supplied us with double yolkers! Maybe that's why they have become my favorites


Our First Eggs Are Here!!!

Our First double yolker

Different sizes and colors from our brown layer mix of Isa sex links, barred plymouth rocks, rhode island reds, 1 golden wyandote

Our "weird" egg. There were 2 tiny soft shell eggs in one nest box today. We opened the opaque soft shell and this is what the egg looked like inside. It had a tiny dot of yolk. The weird thing was the twisted placenta looking rope inside. Looked like a fertilized egg, not one a flock of hens with no rooster would produce.

Today's specials!
We thought we had a golden wyandotte but we have begun to get green eggs so she must be an Easter Egger!


Our golden wyandotte, McNugget must really be an Easter Egger. Whatever she is, she's gorgeous!
We also have a Rhode Island Red who has matured much slower than her sisters. Fancy seems to have trouble walking and she hides under bushes or in the nest box to avoid being pecked. Most of the time they leave her alone and we suppliment her feedings with special treats to keep her growing since she is usually last to eat.

You can compare her size between her sisters when she flew up to the high roost pole:

Above is one of our Barred Plymouth Rocks, Braveheart, Fancy and McNugget.

Three months after her sisters started laying, Little Fancy has become a layer. We took separated her from the flock because she was constantly being pecked. She was hiding in a nest box, never coming out to eat or drink. She's been in a large box condo in the livingroom for 3 weeks now and has really grown. Her comb has come in, she talks to us whenever we're near. Since she has trouble walking, we make sure she gets exercise, having her walk to some scratch across the room and we take her out to graze everyday. We were so proud of her when we found her first egg. Impressive size for her first try!


On a sadder note, one day I bent down to collect the eggs that some of the hens lay in the corner on the floor everyday. My hand touched a yolk on the ledge just below the nest box. I didn't see any shells and thought it was weird but I didn't think more about it. 2 days later we had a dead hen in the corner when we opened the coop in the morning. Upon inspecting her for signs of what could have killed her, we saw bits of shells around her vent. The egg must have broken inside her. The yolk I saw was from her. When they first start laying, sometimes you will find eggs with very thin shells, some double yolk eggs and varying sizes of eggs. This is all part of the process of maturity but I suspect our dead hen must have had a very large egg she couldn't pass. We had observed another hen straining to pass an egg but she was eventually successful. It can't be easy and this makes us appreciate each and every egg we receive.