Around 6 weeks ago, we added four new members to our family; Darla, Queenie, Kate, and Hilda. Four ladies to join me in my otherwise testosterone filled home.
They are part of of our journey to a smaller carbon footprint, and a larger sense of connection to the world of nature and cycles. I also just really wanted chickens. They actually featured in my dreams. I really wanted chickens.
So 6 weeks ago we took the plunge (you can catch up and read all about here if you missed it!) and so began the addition of new routine; of letting out the girls in the morning, replacing food and water, checking for eggs, hand feeding garden clippings, shuttling through the garden to the lawn for ranging, and shutting the door at night.
All the blogs told me that point of lay chooks should be laying eggs by two weeks after their relocation. That fortnight came and went, and no eggs. I researched some more; maybe they weren’t happy in their coop arrangement, maybe their tendency to sleep on the nesting boxes was preventing them from laying, maybe the food isn’t right, they don’t have enough room to roam…the list was endless. Or maybe, in my earnest desire to acquire these chickens, I didn’t look into the breeder enough. Maybe we were conned into paying premium price for… Less than premium chooks. I made enquiries about their precise age, made the retailer aware that they weren’t laying yet, and crossed my fingers, dotted my i’s and crossed all my t’s and waited some more.
The waiting has paid off!
Pictured here are our first three eggs (and one table tennis ball). How bizarre a feeling this was; I wasn’t even looking for them, and there they greeted me with their speckled shells and perfect shapes.
I flew into action; the girls deserve my afternoon time to revamp and clean out the coop. Now that the nesting boxes are officially in use and no longer being regularly used as the roosting/pooping station, they received a thorough cleaning out and addition of deliciously comfy straw. The rest of the coop recieved the same treatment, with toddler-testing included.
I still feel bad that their roaming space is somewhat boring, but these girls have good taste; get them anywhere near my garden and suddenly the slugs have competition for getting on my nerves.
To remedy this, giving them more freedom and me peace of mind, temporary security measures were added in my flurry of activity. We have discovered recently that Hilda is a particularly high jumper… RIP baby kale plant. More security measures to come in time!
Ah it feels good to get some jobs done, and I’m so looking forward to the day Reuben gets to discover an egg for the first time and carry it gingerly to the kitchen. For now, that’ll be my responsibility; a burden I’ll happily carry and bake into all sorts of goodies!