Thursday, May 11, 2017

On an Easter Egg Hunt

I currently have two hens that are laying. I have some Buff Orpington teenagers who should start laying any day now.

Esther and Polly. Esther is the boss of everyone.
Esther and Polly are both considered Easter Eggers. Easter Eggers are not a breed of chicken, but a "mutt" chicken which carries the gene to lay blue, green or pink colored eggs. Both of these girls lay beautiful baby blue eggs.

I have nest boxes. Three of them, in fact, which should be plenty. Until recently, there was no issue with laying eggs in the nest boxes. These girls both give me about 4 eggs a week. Esther lays a slightly larger egg than Polly.

Those are fake eggs in the nest boxes, to remind them of where they are supposed to lay. 
I recently went several days in a row without a single egg. I had various thoughts. Maybe they were going to start molting soon was my first thought.

Finally, I began to look for the eggs. I went on an Easter Egg hunt.

I have a large chicken coop. It is in one of my barn bays. It probably measures 12x6, and is quite tall counting the eaves and ventilation areas.

I did a thorough inspection of the coop, hunting for Easter Eggs.

I found them, and they weren't in a nest box...

This cell phone photo doesn't do the color of the eggs justice.

These ladies had made themselves a nest, decorated with guinea feathers, at the back of the coop, behind the roosts.

It then dawned on me why they weren't laying in the nest boxes...

Because babies!

I have some young girls (5-6 weeks old) who only recently moved into the coop. I put new baby additions in a dog crate in the coop for the first couple of weeks. I do this to "coop train" them, and to allow the bigger girls to get used to their presence. This time around, I apparently placed the babies too close to the nest boxes, which is why Esther and Polly took it upon themselves to make their own nest.

I have had the crate door open the last few days. Last night when I did the final check on the chickens, all of the babies were up on the roosts with the big girls, so the crate will be coming out today or tomorrow.

Hopefully Esther and Polly (and soon the Buff Orpington gals) resume laying in the nest boxes. Hopefully this will end my Easter Egg Hunts.


  1. The babies are adorable, what clever lady hens to go find their own real estate & build a nest! I'd love to have chickens and get fresh, healthy eggs for us and the dogs. Our town doesn't allow it and it isn't a suitable environment anyway, our homes & yards are way too small. I hope to have a large property one day, when we move out of Long Island, New York.


Thanks for the howls!!