We had a pleasant surprise today – our first eggs! The girls found them and stood outside screaming and yelling for me to come. All the commotion made me concerned that something was wrong. Finally I understood that they were saying Eggs in the coop! Eggs in the coop! Most chickens don’t start laying until they are about 20 weeks old, and ours will reach that milestone in over three weeks from now. I haven’t thought to check for eggs because it just didn’t seem to be time. Imagine my surprise when I peeked in and saw 4 eggs on the pine bedding.
A few moments of internet research later, I learned that the pullet’s combs will start to redden when they’re ready to lay. A quick assessment showed that one of our Red Sex Links has a decidedly red comb and wattle. Certainly some of these eggs came from her. She’s been nameless, so I gave her the name Aries to acknowledge that she is the first one out of the gate, the first one laying eggs. I’ve got to start spying on them as they lay to find who is doing it. One of the eggs we collected is larger than the others, almost full-size.
The next lesson in chicken-keeping for our family will address the topic of getting pullets to lay in their nest boxes. These eggs were laid under their nighttime perch – a dangerous place for a nest! The eggs can be stepped on and cracked if they’re exposed like that. The girls do have two very lovely nest boxes in the coop and I’ve got to figure out how to get them to lay there.
The adventure continues!