Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Panic stations!

For a couple of days, Lydia (Buff Sussex) had been popping into the nest box and out again. I was quite excited, becasue I thought it might be that she was going to lay an egg. Yesterday, I opened the egg port and found Lydia in the nest, ATTACKING the china egg.

I was very worried. Hens do sometimes eat eggs, and if they eat one they get a taste for it and it is ahorrible habit that is very difficult to break.

Today I was in bed and heard a terrible commotion. I leapt out of bed, and saw from my bedroom window that Delilah was just being very vocal in announcing "Lo, I have laid an Egge, and it is the mst wondrous thing I have done". After showering and getting dressed, I came downstairs to make up their Swingball, and I noticed that Lydia was not in the Run.

Fearing that she might be destroying Delilah's egg, I rushed out and opened the egg port, to find Lydia sitting there calmly. She was on top of Delilah's egg, but not doing it any harm. As I came back inside, I had this horrible feeling that she might be going broody.

I waited for 45 minutes to see if she came out (Delilah takes 30 minutes, maybe she likes to read the paper while she's waiting?). Nothing. Out there again, this time I decided to rescue Delilah's egg from underneath her. She looked a put out, but carried on sitting.

But she hasn't laid. Is it possible? I posted a question on the Omlet forum. Some time after my posting, Lydia appeared in the Run. Again, I ran down the garden (we must put some paving down, there's now just a muddy track where once there had been grass). And there, in the nest, was a tiny egg.

A tiny egg, the same size as the one I found in the run a couple of days ago. Does this mean that Lydia has been laying, and Scarlett has not?

I can't believe such a large hen can produce such a small egg. But it's beautiful. Just like her.

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