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Naughty Chickens

The past few weeks, the egg production of our hens has been dismal.  I told my husband it must be because some of the flock are getting up there in age (six years old for most of our hens, long past peak production years).

I expect few eggs during the darkest winter days.  But the days are starting to get longer, and I'm expecting more, especially since I added five new birds to the flock last spring.  So, finding just one lonely egg in the nesting boxes each morning is disappointing.

But what I though was dwindling egg production wasn't.  Yesterday, I caught our little Jane skulking suspiciously behind a big bottle brush plant.  She clambered inside and reappeared awhile later, cackling happily.

I recognized that cackle.

Sending Jon into the bush, he found what Jane was so excited about.  A huge nest.  Of eggs.  Meant for me!

Apparently, she's been hiding them from me and the other chickens have followed her lead.  I launched an all-out search of the property. 

We found the buff orpingtons laying in some dead grass behind the woodpile.  I've caught a few other chickens snooping around the big philodendron on the north side of the house.  It's too big for me to clamber through, but I'm sure they're in there.

The silver laced wyandottes are wiley little things.  I know they must be laying somewhere -- I just haven't caught them yet.

I love my chickens.  They have a nice, free range life.  Lots of cracked corn and fresh water.  They will always have a home here, and will never end up in my stew pot (because you can't eat someone with whom you're on a first name basis).  All I ask in return is for them to lay their eggs in the damn coop.

I consider laying eggs in various hiding places around the property an act of mutiny.  You know what I do with mutinous chickens?

House arrest.

Buff orpington hen, named Eddie Murphy, isn't too happy to be locked in the coop.


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