We have chickens.
Yeah – I know. You know.
We have a lot of chickens.
More than the average, most likely.
Particularly when you consider that we’re just a stone’s throw from downtown Portland.
As you may recall, we also have a bit of an egg business going on here, as well. Our son BiL was the catalyst for that, and the need to increase our chicken population – oh, about a year ago.
So, increase the size of the flock we did.
Funny thing, though, even with 32 regularly laying hens, the most we’ve ever collected in a day is 24.
It didn’t take long to come to a conclusion…
The Ameracaunas are horrible layers!
We have FIVE Ameracaunas. We know three of them are green egg layers, one an almost pinkish-beige color, and the last a cream with beigeish dots.
On average, we get a green egg every other day.
It was disappointing, really, because we like them so much – they are really personable hens. But dang – that makes them the least consistent layers of the flock… or so we thought.
Remember these little girls?
The newest chicks?
Well, the other night – the first night they were allowed to go outside and explore the great big world that is our yard – several of them did NOT come home to roost at the appropriate time.
Being the paranoid Mom type girl that I am, I had a little bit of a freak out. I called out the troops – we searched high and low – and lo and behold! – we found they’d gone UNDER the coop and had holed up there. NOT okay. NOT warm enough. And well – hello – racoon food in no time at all! So we got flashlights, formed a battle plan, and eventually got them all rounded up.
It was during that rescue mission that I had occasion to get down nearly to the ground (which is no small feat given I still have an open surgical incision!), shone the flashlight under the coop – and what did I see?
A lot of eggs.
Like more than just a couple.
Well – I reported my findings to John, and so we decided that today – Saturday – would be the day to deal with the stash of eggs under the coop.
So that’s how our day started…
You must have the correct tools.
A bucket. I love that grabber – I got it when I had my hip replaced a few years ago – awesome thing to have around! And gloves – very, very important to wear gloves on this type of endeavor.
Here’s what we found:
Can you see them?
I told you there were more than just a few.
Lord have mercy!
Any guesses on how many eggs of questionable age and quality were under that there coop?
About 80% of them were green, by the way.
Guess where my Ameracaunas have been laying!
My first question for these hens is this: How the heck can you lay in that small a space? Good grief!
My second is: What were you thinking?!
So – that, of course, meant it was time to make sure there was NO way possible to get back under the coop. My husband IS amazing.
In no time he had just the right solution in place.
Should be interesting, shouldn’t it?
Will they start using the nest boxes to lay their eggs in? (Please, Lord!)
What will our egg count be?
Will we finally not run out of eggs and have to stop turning people away eggless?!
And – because I can – here’s a gratuitous picture of cute baby chicks playing in the coop!
I really do owe them thanks – if they hadn’t gotten stuck underneath the coop we might never have found that stash of eggs! YUCK!