Category / Eggs

Chickens Eggs Gardening Tours

Spring Has Sprung

We have had so much rain over the past week that I was beginning to believe that we would never see the sun again.  Yet, yesterday it was beautiful, sunny and not a cloud was in the sky.  Despite the rain, spring is my absolute favorite season.  The spring blooms are just making the yard smell heavenly.  I love lilacs and lily of the valley.

The chickens are laying in full force too.  I have so many eggs, that we joke that we are lacking places to put them.  Do you think it is possible to become an egg hoarder?  I think it is time to make some quiche for dinner.

 

 Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest

Chickens Eggs Stories from Our Nest

Beautiful Eggs

To me, I find eggs some of the most beautiful things in the world. I love them most in their natural form, where their beauty sometimes takes my breath away.  Not only are they beautiful for their size, shape and coloring, but their inner beauty is just magical.

 

To see more of my egg photography, click here.
Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest

 

Crafts Easter Eggs Family Fun Gardening Holiday Projects

Forcing Bulbs in Eggshells

It is hard to believe that Easter is right around the corner. The chickens have begun to resume their regular laying patterns. Yesterday, I discovered that all the hens had laid an egg. The egg cartons are filling fast and my fridge is abundant with eggs. Earlier this week, I found myself making a couple of quiches for dinner. Sometimes, I feed the empty eggshells back to the hens, other times I crush them and sprinkle them in the garden to help add nutrients to the soil and deter slugs. But during springtime, you can find me forcing miniature spring bulbs like Grape Hyacinth, Tete-A-Tete Daffodils and Crocus in the chicken’s beautiful eggshells.  To learn more about the “how-tos” of this project head on over to HGTV Gardens, where I have shared all the instructions.

Chickens Eggs Stories from Our Nest

Welcoming Back the Eggs

Tilly and the girls are finally through their molt.  For a few months, we sat on the sidelines, waiting for the feathers to return and the eggs to become abundant.  This past weekend, it happened.  Seven eggs were laid in one day.  We had not seen that in months.

The chickens love fall.  They love the cooler weather.  They love roosting in the sunshine and taking a nap.  They love snuggling on the roosts at night.  They love going boneless and practicing yoga positions while dust bathing.  They enjoy scratching in the leaves, discovering tiny insects and tasty morsels along the way.

Yesterday, I did not do much more than try to recover from a tummy bug.  I decided after it warmed up a bit that I would love to sit in the Adirondack chair with a warm comfy blanket and spend time with the girls.  They did not seem to mind that I was observing their every move.   Chickens are such happy little things.  They are little hiccups of happiness, that brighten my day and somehow make negative things just melt away.

Photo Credit:  Tilly’s Nest

Chickens Eggs Health Issues

10 Reasons for Decline in Backyard Chicken Egg Production

A decline or stop laying eggs is common in chickens for a number of reasons.

The girls are now in the full swing on molting. Tilly molted first.  Finally I am proud to say that both her tail feathers and her eggs have returned. She looked so funny while she waited for those tail  feathers to grow back. Oyster Cracker, on the other hand, never seems to escape with a light molt. She is a heavy molter. Starting with the head and ending with the tail, Oyster Cracker is now molting on her chest and wings. Prickly pin feathers are emerging from her neck. The poor girl is a mess. Of course, with  molting the eggs are less. Molting and egg making require protein. The eggs decline as the chickens use up their protein stores to make feathers and sometimes chickens will even stop laying eggs.  But did you know that in addition to molting each Autumn, there are other conditions that can make chickens’ egg laying decline or stop laying eggs at various times of the year?

Chickens Eggs Stories from Our Nest

Privacy Please

Sunshine

Is there such a thing as egg laying etiquette?  I’ve often wonder about this. I have heard stories of hens lining up just to lay their eggs in a favorite box, each patiently waiting until the hen in front of them has had her turn.  Often in our nesting boxes, I will discover two chickens laying their eggs at the same time in the same box.  It is so cute to see them stuffed into the box, chatting together and singing the “egg song” duet.  It must be a bonding experience and one that they enjoy as I discover them this way quite a bit.  However, yesterday things were a bit different.

I was enjoying spending sometime outside with the girls in the morning.  As most everyone was scratching around in the fresh moist dirt I saw that Fifi had to lay an egg.  She popped up the ramp and into the coop to have her pick of all the nesting boxes.  No sooner had she entered the coop, I saw Sunshine make a bee line inside and shoo her out.  This happened repeatedly with lots of squawking and feathers flying.  Fifi came out almost as soon as she went in.  Poor little Fifi, all she wanted to do was lay her sweet tiny little egg in one of the boxes. She would even take the middle one if forced to.  Why didn’t Sunshine understand?  Why was Sunshine so bossy all of a sudden?  Then it dawned on me.
Sunshine was bossy.  Clearly this otherwise docile chicken had begun to transform.  With Tilly being on and off broody, Sunshine has bestowed upon herself the position of head hen!  At first it began with some naughty behavior, like eating eggs (thank goodness she stopped), completely emptying the feeders and bullying the others away from treats.  What had gotten into her?  Power.  She had control and she liked it.  She could do good and naughty and no one was there to stop her.  Her rule is so different from sweet Tilly’s.
I intervened that morning.  I tossed some black sunflower seeds into the run to provide distraction.  Sunshine quickly commanded the scene, gobbling up as many as she could.  Fifi took note and ran into the coop and hid in the nesting box on the far left, the favorite one.  I had bought Fifi about 5 minutes.  Soon enough, Sunshine noticed that Fifi was missing.  She marched on into the coop.  She saw Fifi in the nesting box on the left and determined she decided to occupy the box on the far right.
I returned to the coop about a half hour later to discover Tilly back inside sitting in the middle box with Sunshine’s and Fifi’s eggs underneath of her.  She had been busy.  With her beak, she carefully rolled each egg out of their respective boxes and into her favorite box, the middle one.  With feathers puffed and some cautionary growls from Tilly, I reached underneath of her and retrieved the two warm gifts.
Photo Credit:  Tilly’s Nest

Chickens Eggs Stories from Our Nest

Pearly Whites

Silkies are funny little chickens.

Last week, all four Silkies, Dolly, Autumn, Feathers and Fifi were broody.  It doesn’t take much to convince a Silkie that they should be broody.  Clearly this was the trendy thing to do this week.  There they were piled on top of one another inside the nesting boxes.  Toward the end of the week, Tilly decided to join them.  For the past few days, one by one, the Silkies gave up being broody.  It wasn’t as much fun having Tilly there sandwiched between the two boxes overflowing with Silkies.

Tilly has been taking her time to decide if she truly wants to be broody or was just under the weather.  It seems like the old chicken and the egg argument; which came first.  This morning, Tilly was the last one out of the coop.  I watched as they one by one popped out of the coop with a lust for life.  Dolly and Tilly took some coaxing.  I could hear them “talking” to their invisible chicks as I have heard mother hens do.

They all came outside and were enjoying exploring the run.  A pair of robins landed outside the coop.  Tilly ran for them.  Like a watch dog, she chased them away.  They had no business being anywhere near the newly reseeded grass outside the coop.  Life somehow seemed to be returning to normal for Tilly today.

I went inside to finish up with the morning chores and returned about a half hour later to clean the coop.  There, something caught my eye.  Tilly and Fifi had returned to the nesting boxes.  I had to remove them one by one and place them in the run.  I always clean the coop without any chickens inside.  There, I noticed underneath the coop ramp someone had made a nest.  Two pearly little Silkie eggs were laid inside.

The eggs were tinier than usual, due to the Silkies returning to the egg laying process after being broody.  I removed my coop cleaning gloves and gently scooped the still warm eggs up into the cradle of my hand.  I was surprised that Sunshine had not discovered them.  She is ruthless when it comes to discovering eggs that had not been laid by her.  It is amazing to me that she recognizes her own eggs verses those laid by others.

Tilly is quasi-broody.  The Silkies are laying again.  Sunshine did not use the Silkie eggs as kick ball.  Somehow, things are off kilter, but make me feel content.  Life isn’t how one would expect it but somehow, option B turns out to be just as good as option A.

Photo Credit:  Tilly’s Nest

Chickens Eggs Health Issues

Tilly’s Feat

This morning around 9am I found Tilly sitting in the right nesting box. Sitting in the neighboring nesting boxes were Dolly and Feathers.  Dolly and Feathers are both broody.  I quickly checked beneath all of them for eggs.  There were none, so I went on my errands for the morning.

Chickens Eggs Health Issues

A Broody Adventure & Tips on Broody Hens

Silkie Bantams frequently go broody.

Broody hens are quite interesting.  Dolly, one of our Silkie Bantams, seems to be broody about every 8 weeks.  Thus, we have developed a broody routine.  A couple times a day, I remove her from her nesting box and set her out into the run with the rest of her flock to scratch and peck and take a drink.  Usually, I lift her from the nesting box, set her on the ground, lock up the box and then place her in the run.  However, yesterday, she preferred to free range instead of going in the run.  Usually, I can call her and she will come right back to me.  Yet, I think the beauty of the weather and the 66 degrees, enticed her to scratch and enjoy a little freedom.  I can’t blame her.  I know scratching in the woods and leaves is one of the girls’ favorite activities.