The most common question that we have been asked in the last two months has been "Are the chickens laying eggs yet?" and every time we shake our heads with a frown and reply "no." Michael goes out there almost every day and tells the chickens to lay some damn eggs. The girls just look at him and move to the other end of the coop. We figured that we'd start seeing eggs in late July or early August. When July ended and there was zero sign of eggs, I started to think that they needed a better nesting area. The whole reason they were not laying eggs is because they didn't have a sleep number mattress and Egyptian cotton sheets to lay them on. This was my way of thinking. Of course, I am thinking all of this right in the middle of me travelling and Michael starting school, right when we are at our busiest. I might also add that ever since Josephine brought me a piece of our kitchen floor, we've been discussing a kitchen remodel and we bought a bunch of picture frames that need to be hung.
Michael suggested that maybe Randy would have some idea on how to modify the coop with proper nesting boxes. So Randy and Katrina loaded up their little two-seater convertible and the small trailer they pull behind it and came up here over the weekend to help us do all of that. They were bribed with visits to the Farmers' Market and IKEA. Well...Katrina was bribed with those things to drag Randy up here. Also, Katrina and I made the most delicious pesto that was used to make pizzas and those pizzas were the yummiest pizzas. Randy and Michael went out to work on the coop while Katrina and I harvested basil for pesto. Then Michael decided we should clean the coop before doing anything. He turned the whole thing over so that it was partially on it's side and the chickens could get out. Then he walked into the run area to get the water jugs and there was an egg. Then we noticed another egg right behind Michael's foot and we all started screaming "DON'T MOVE!" Two eggs were discovered in the chicken run that day.
The next morning, I went out to put a golf ball in the nesting boxes and check for any eggs. There was one egg sitting at the bottom of their ramp into the coop. I checked the coop and nesting box about five more times through out the day, but there were no more eggs. This leads me to believe that only one of the chickens is laying eggs so far. We have an idea of who is doing the egg laying, but for the most part, the chickens are pulling a page from Danielle Steel's Lace. The eggs are brown, so it's either Matilda or Dorothy. My money's on Dorothy. She's very interested in the new nesting area. This morning I found her scratching around in the nesting box. Dorothy has also gotten a little bit more docile. She's let me pet her twice now. The only time I get to hug and pet the chickens is when we've let them out in the yard and we have to catch them to put them back in the coop. But twice now, Dorothy has not moved away from my hand reaching into the coop or pecked me. I don't know why, but I just think that maybe the act of laying eggs makes a chicken more relaxed and loving.
So far (we think) we have one chicken laying one egg a day. No eggs had been laid this morning before I left for work, though one of the chickens did make a very loud buhcawk sound that I thought for sure was chicken speak for "I HAVE LAID AN EGG!" It was not. I checked. I checked the coop twice before leaving for work and I'm sure I would have checked the coop four or five times by now if I were at home. I'm really hoping that when I get home today, I will find an egg in the actual nesting box area and not laying around in some random spot in the chicken run.
It's all very exciting. I washed and placed our three eggs into a half empty carton of eggs purchased from the store in the fridge. They are small compared to the store bought eggs, but they are ours. They came from our backyard. Those eggs came from our chickens.