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Brilliant Deduction!

Yesterday I collected a measly 3 eggs from our nesting boxes. I had this nagging thought in my mind that maybe the makeshift nest that the girls were driven to use the other day had become the preferred nest. Oh dear. 🙁

So I tidied up their coop to make it as inviting as possible. Spread a fresh layer of pine chips and fluffed up and filled the nesting boxes too, and added some yummy chicken scratch as well. (not to the nest but the coop floor) I had high hopes that it would work but alas today when I went down to the coop I found only 2 eggs. Granted some of our girls are late afternoon layers, but still…

So I walked around, followed by a parade of chickens because they assumed I was going to give them some treats, looking under and around the low growing Junipers that I sometimes see them scratching around. I was thinking all the time, “How in the world am I going to find some random chicken nest in all this space?!” Then I suddenly remembered that I’d been hearing some rather loud ‘bocking’ as Myles puts it, right in our very backyard. Hmmmm…. usually that kind of vocalizing is reserved for egg laying and for informing someone who is taking up the nest for too long that they had better hurry up and move. 🙂

So I started looking in all the places that I’d consider good for eggs in our yard. Under the woodpiles, nope. Behind the trashcans, nope. I considered the kids play set, but never actually got around to checking it out because as I went down the sidewalk I noticed this…

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What is it, you may rightfully wonder? It’s actually the plastic tray (and a divider) that goes with the crate we got to haul the goats from Phoenix. Yeah, it was plenty gross by the time we got home with them, and then it was frozen and then… well, lets just say it’s on my list of thing to clean and put away, but the hose isn’t out anymore, ya know? Well, it’s been leaning up against the house now for awhile, and I suddenly though, “That’s a kinda cave like sheltered place.” Which must have been exactly what the chicks were thinking because behind the plastic was…

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Yep, that’s what I found. This is a coal bucket that I’d used as a planter this summer, and it had apparently been the perfect place for those hens to drop their eggs! 7 of them!! What?! I was kinda tempted to keep them… you’d understand if you’d ever raised chickens for eggs, ha ha!… but one was cracked and even though it’s been cold, I’d be reluctant to eat them after they’d been “out” for a few days. *sigh* I did keep one. It was still warm which meant it had only recently been laid. The rest the dog will get for supper… lucky dog!

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Once I “broke up” the nest everyone loves best, by moving the plastic tray and even relocating the bucket, there was one rather clueless but determined little Road Island Red that kept running up and down the side of the house looking for the nest. I tried to catch it, thinking I could set her on the “real” nest and she might figure it out, but no, she wasn’t in the mood to be “catched” of course. So I chased them all out of the backyard, and closed the gates on them. I’d like to think she’ll give up and go lay her egg in the coop, but I just looked out the FRONT windows and she is still frantically running along the siding looking for that nest.

Maybe I should move the coal bucket into the coop. 😉

One Response to “Brilliant Deduction!”

  1. Mom of Joy says:

    There ya go! Our doggie gets the cracked eggs also, tho our biggest problem lately has been frozen (and cracked) eggs. So I’ll thaw them when I find one and then give it to the dog. I’ve found them on the ground at odd times in the past and in our sheep mineral buckets. Usually it’s the newer hens that are still getting the hang of laying who lay them in goofy places. Buckets are perfect “nest boxes!”

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