Dedicated to Evelyn

 

Almost time....

 

We’ve gathered seven eggs from the girls this week.  We believe the first one was Evelyn’s, the beautiful blond Buff Orpington.  The next ones are Miss Amelia’s, followed by a blue/green one from Chickpea and unbelievably, a brownish one from our other Americauna, Kakapo.

First three beautiful eggs, L-R Evelyn's, Miss Amelia's and Chickpea's

The two Barred Rocks are too young yet to lay, but they certainly are interested in what is suddenly so popular about the nesting boxes.

The Barred Rocks are curious teenagers

The nesting platform in the chicken tractor isn’t deep enough to keep straw from being kicked off, so I’ve put up three bee ‘supers’, which are four sides and no top or bottom.  Until something else can be arranged, they do just fine.

Miss Amelia, tail up and ready to get it over

Watching the girls as they become hens has been interesting.  Miss Amelia sat in the nesting box and panted.

As a mom, I know how she's feeling.

She allows me to pet her now, as she squats into the mating pose.  It is a little disturbing, and doubtlessly frustrating for both her and Emerson who is caged separately.

Miss Amelia is desperate for... attention. Sorry!

Chickpea, the big girl, jumps from box to box annoying everyone trying to nest in there.  She kicks as much bedding out as she can, sending it flying across the coop with her big feet.  When she’s ready to lay she goes into a chicken trance.  You can wave your hand in front of her eyes and there is no response, just some panting.  Then, voila!  A beautiful greenish egg.

Chickpea in a trance

Kakapo is the nest builder.  She’ll squat down in one of the boxes  then lean her head far out of it, almost losing her balance, to grab a wisp of straw to throw over her shoulder into the box.

We hadn’t seen Evelyn lay, but assumed the first egg which was pointier than Miss Amelia’s, was hers.  She’d been in a mood for several days and had settled down.  Yesterday, though, she sat down in the corner of the pen by her beau Emerson and took a nap in the daytime which was uncharacteristic.  She appeared perfectly healthy; in fact, I commented on how red and full her wattles were.  This morning we found our dear Evelyn dead on the floor in the corner of the coop.  We also found two eggs with transparent shells in the lay box.  There was no evidence of what made her die, but I’m guessing it had something to do with the egg-laying.  We don’t know who laid the shell-less eggs, but that shouldn’t kill anyone.  It is remedied with more calcium in their diets on top of their lay pellets.  Perhaps she was egg-bound, or just couldn’t handle the eggs.  We were horrified and greatly saddened.  I buried Evelyn under the lime tree just behind the coop.  Now we have five hens and a rooster.  We gave the girls crushed egg shells and kale leaves, and I’ll sprinkle calcium on their food tomorrow.  We’ll miss the beautiful Evelyn something terrible.

Evelyn looking great. No signs of illness.

 

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