This summer we successfully hatched 4 eggs. And when I say "we," I mean Elizabeth, our fabulous shoreside manager of all that is good. Jon and I were sailing and stuck Elizabeth with how to manage separating the hens with eggs from the other hens, how to set up the food for the babies and the mamas and most tragic of all, dealing with the little ones whom nature decided wouldn't make it.
Hatching baby chicks wasn't really in the plan but one day this spring I became worried about two hens. They were smushed into one nesting box and would not eat or leave the nest for any reason. I thought they were sick. I called a friend who is our "chicken guru" and he said they were "broody." Now it's clear where the meaning comes from because these hens were just depressing. With typical Maine pragmatism he said, "They want babies, so give them babies." Who were we to go against a maternal biological clock? And so began our little hatchery and all the drama that ended up going with it. Click here for Elizabeth's blogs on the full story.
The chicks were born June 23 and today I looked up when we might expect to see eggs from our juvenile hens. The books say they start laying at 5 months. I figured next week I'd start to watch for eggs around the coop. Sometime they don't exactly get the nesting program right off the bat.
After putting a second layer of plastic over the mini hoop houses I've built, I checked on the chickens and found a tiny brown egg sitting with the other lighter, full-sized eggs! Our first one! It's dark brown and so tiny. They start small. Women around the world can appreciate the beauty of this system. The eggs will get progressively bigger and hopefully the hens will lay one egg every two days over the winter.
A proud mama myself