Even though I know that egg laying is unpredictable at this time of year, it's always a bit disappointing when I lift the lid of the nesting box and there's only one. An egg from Carol. She is firing on all cylinders now and producing one egg a day, the maximum that a domestic hen can produce.
"What's going on with the other four chickens?" I think as I stump back through the garden in my dressing gown and wellies.
The other four chickens are elderly maidens, well into their third year. I know that after two years egg production diminishes but somehow I hoped that the organic food and beautiful adornments in the pen might make a difference. Of course they don't. As the years roll by, the chickens will produce fewer and fewer eggs until they go to that great pecking ground in the sky.
The pretty white bantams, have never been very obliging on the egg laying front. In their prime, they probably only laid two or three eggs a week. They are not a laying strain and we knew this when we bought them. But we have discovered that they are very photogenic and are happy to model endlessly.
I've been checking the hen's combs. A pink comb indicates that a chicken is going broody, and will not lay. They are all a bright vibrant red, including Mrs Boss (this chicken won The Broodiest of all Known Chickens Award 2004, 2005 and 2006).
So you can imagine my delight when I lifted the roof of the nesting box this morning and found two small eggs nestling beside Carol's large speckled brown one. I sprang back to the kitchen to make the perfect breakfast omelette.
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