Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hen House Drama

I don't understand why this one nest box is such a favorite.  Maybe it's the darkest?  Maybe it has just the right mix of pine needles and shavings to make it comfy?  Maybe it's the north-east most box and that's what they want.  What ever it is, it's the girls favorite and I frequently find all three eggs in that box at the end of the day.  And silly me, I just assumed that they nicely took turns laying their eggs in that nest box.  Well not today!

I was doing my usual weekend chores in their run today, turning the compost, scrubbing out their waterer and refilling, adding feed to the feeder, etc.  Coco had quietly excused herself to go sit in "the" nest box while the other girls followed me around.  All was right and peaceful.

Then Coco, remember, she's the Alpha Hen, had to come investigate what all was going on and make sure she wasn't missing out on any treats.  And I really thought she must have an egg in her cuz she was very bossy and loud.  Not to mention, had been siting in a nest box for some time.  Well, somewhere in the middle of turning the compost and asking Coco to keep it down, Pumpkin excused herself to go lay an egg in "the" nest box.  And that was fine, until Coco decided to return.

Pumpkin had set up shop in "the" nest box.  Coco squawked at Pumpkin and Pumpkin held her ground and growled back.  This went on and on and on for quite a while.  Finally, Coco, just bullied her way into the nest box with Pumpkin in it.  Well, there's barely enough room in the nest box for Coco alone.  Two birds in there was just too much.

Coco and Pumpkin jammed into one nest box.

You can check out a small video of the action here:

After filming, I simply couldn't watch anymore.  So I left them alone to duke it out.  And squwak and growl they did for the next hour or so.

After lunch, I went to collect eggs.  And I'm not sure which surprized me more.  The fact that after ALL that noise, posturing, fighting over the favorite nest box, Coco never laid an egg OR the fact that Pumpkin had laid THIS!

Yesterday's egg is on the left.  Today's egg is on the right.

An egg that's twice the size of her normal egg.  OUCH!!!  I've never checked out the back end of one of my hens till today.  I was really worried she might need attention back there.  But she was fine.  She sat in the nest box for quite a while.  Not sure if it just stuned her or she reallly needed time to recover from pushing that out.

I'll bet good money that there're two yokes in there.  And we'll find out tomorrow at breakfast.  Just in time for tomorrow's nest box squable. 

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