We’ll Coop & The Gang don’t half talk about Mave…We are a family of three after all. The only thing Mave isn’t contributing to at the moment is egg production, that’s Doris & Flos domain. Despite my belief that although our girls claim to be pure breeds, I suspect they are a motley crew. I’ve inspected enough chickens up and down the land in the last 8 months so know there are some noticable differences in our girls to the “true” breeds I’ve seen.
They provided 12 perfect eggs between them for Christmas morning scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, there would have been more had I looked a little harder. We have a hider in our midsts.
My money is on Doris, who on the night time inspection is always found resting in the nest box. She kicks all the bedding out the way and snuggles down, she’s more than happy for you to have a stroke and feel under her for the odd egg or two but left over night on them you’ll find them gone the next day.
It wasn’t till we were home late one mild night and decided to leave the girls out for the night, we are relatively predator free & lord knows the girls would give as good as they get wake me up and I am more than capable of throwing things out of the window with relative accuracy that would see most things smaller than a wild boar out of the way.
I left collecting eggs that day till the light was fading, she liked the fuss but there was nothing, she decided to take her space on the perch and with a whip of her wing she dislodged some shavings on her exist, what’s that…that looks egg coloured. Once she’d departed I started to move the shavings out of the way, I rootled in all the corners and one egg, two eggs, three eggs, four. Two a piece for Florence and D Unit.
Florence is a stealth layer, you rarely notice she’s gone to lay an egg, as soon as she’s hears some fun somewhere else she’s off and her laying and egg song isn’t the most dominant in the group. I also don’t think she spends enough time in the next box to be the hider.
I’ve considered if Doris is broody. Out of all the girls I suspect she is the truest to her breed and with that comes a higher change of becoming broody, a modern hybrid is less likely to have this desire…apparently. But despite her egg song being both loud and proud, I’m not convinced. She does tend to sit on a number of eggs at the end of the day and chickens typically won’t start to incubate until a whole clutch is laid. She seems in fine feather between legs and breast and she’s not growling at me when I pet her on the box and once they eggs are gone she will happily leave the nest box and roost on the perch. We have had one broody poo, a lovely flat glob of poo in the nest box that smelt so bad but for every egg removed she’s placing another one but she’s not nest building as such, we’ve had no added leaves, twigs of straw bought up, just most of the bedding kicked to the sides and used to hide eggs.
My next thought was predators and although chickens aren’t credited with being very smart they are always smarter than people give them credit for, we get taps on the back door when they want feeding, fuss or both and they even sit on the windowsills watching what we’re doing. We’ve never had an incident of any of the gang showing an interest in eating eggs, even when we had the two soft shells earlier in the year, I was more worried about getting them out of the way before they did. We’ve seen no signs of broken eggs so I can’t see that she’s hiding them from her fellow coop mate.
Maybe Doris is just being funny, maybe she is thinking about getting broody but doesn’t really know whats going on. We’ll keep an eye out and see how she goes. The mothership kindly picked up Coop & The Gang a rubber egg for Christmas should we need to formulate an intervention!