Thank you, Chicken.

by longtallyarn

Yesterday we found our first chicken egg in the far left nesting box. Our flock hasn’t reached egg-laying age yet so you may wonder how this happened.

Over the weekend we had to trade in one of our chickens because she turned out to be a rooster. Well, the bird was showing some roostery characteristics and on Saturday morning Oso heard crowing coming from the coop. And crowing is not allowed in our fair city.

The chicken dealership has a refund policy but the dealer agreed to a trade in with a little money down. He had no birds the exact age of our flock but he had one slightly older. He said she had already started laying eggs! Our other hens are not due to start until September, if I have my math right.

She is the boss of the flock. She comes out the door last in the morning but she bellies up to the feeder and all the other chickens scatter before her. Sometimes she gets so bossy they all go in the coop and leave her outside alone. As the others reach their mature size it will be interesting to see if they can challenge her seniority.

We had to research her dietary needs because chickens laying eggs need more calcium (for the shells) and growing chickens need more protein (for, well, growing). We are going to supplement her calcium needs by offering up oyster shells (yum!), of which I read chickens only eat what their bodies need.

The dealer said she might stop laying eggs because of the stress of moving, but that she would start back again soon. We brought her home on Saturday afternoon so Saturday no egg. Sunday no egg. Monday… an egg.

I let my 3 year old pick the egg out of the box and we went to put it in the refrigerator. As we started toward the house he asked “Is that an egg for us to eat?” becoming more excited.

“Yes it is.”

“Oh, THANK you chicken!” he said, turning to face the chicken run.