drama in the henhouse

So we have a broody hen. I went out this morning to take a picture of her because, well, that’s the sort of thing I do. My kids don’t realise how grateful they should be for the invention of digital cameras because otherwise they’d have dumpster loads to pitch someday.

Anyway, the broody hen, all cosy in her nest, usually looks something like this:nesting hen(Please forgive the quality of the following photos. The light in the chicken coop is not ideal.)

But this morning, the broody hen’s nesting box looked like this:intruder henTwo hens in one box. Note: the hen at the front is not the broody hen. She has her butt in the broody hen’s face.

The intruder squirmed:

pushy henand squirmed:

two hens in one boxbefore finally settling in, although not without complaint:

complaining intruder hen

Meanwhile, the rooster heard me enter the coop and came rushing from the run to investigate:

concerned roosterWith a steely gaze, he began crowing his head off, deafening me until I fled.

an embarrassment of eggs

Our lovely young ladies have been defying my expectations and laying like champs all winter, even through the darkest, coldest days. I know the day will come when they go moulty or moody or broody and slow down or, gulp, even stop laying for a while so I’m appreciating every egg they gift us, but at the same time it can be a bit overwhelming.

With nine hens, we usually get eight eggs per day – although there have been a few days when all nine laid – which means about 56 eggs per week. So we’ve been eating lots and lots of fried eggs, scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs and French toast. We’ve given dozens away to the neighbours, to co-workers, to my parents. And yet, as of this moment, our egg count is over 80 (that’s 50 in the bowl above) and the ladies haven’t even laid yet today.

Anybody want some eggs? Free-range, lovingly tended, very reasonably priced. Anyone?

here a chick, there a chick

Chickens are just so expressive.

For instance, here’s a Barred Plymouth Rock chick looking suspicious:

And a Columbian Plymouth Rock looking suspicious wary:

And a couple Rhode Island Reds regarding me with suspicion skepticism:

This guy is a touch suspicious doubtful:

Whereas this one is exhibiting a distinct suspicion lack of trust:

These ones are sharing their suspicions reservations with one another:

And this one is slightly suspicious apprehensive, even in his sleep:

Easy there, chickens. This rollercoaster of emotions is wearing me out.