We Have Egg!

Back near the end of June we got 12 chicks which would hopefully grow up to become laying hens.  It takes about 6 months for the hens to mature to laying age, so we were expecting eggs around Christmas or New Years.  Today, however, I found a surprise when I went into the coop:

mutherf'n EGG!

A single small brown egg – right in the nesting box where it was supposed to be no less!  Perhaps the chickens were grateful that I had cleaned their coop a few days earlier, or perhaps they had some sort of crazy chicken ESP and knew that I’d spent the previous day working on building a ramp for them to get up and down from their perches without jumping.  My sister-in-law and I built this beauty, and were installing it when I found the egg:

bona fide chicken ramp

I’ve since modified the ramp by doubling the number of steps – and yes, those screw holes are indeed pegged:  not to be fancy, but to prevent the chickens from pecking at the shiny screws.  My sister-in-law came up with the design idea to secure the removable ramp, with a “U” shaped brace attached to the bottom of the perch:

Ramp goes here

and an attachment at the top of the ramp that drops down into the “U” connector.  It’s pretty sweet.

ramp rests right in the "U" connector on the perch

We have 11 chickens left after losing one a few weeks ago.  We live on a dirt road that the town re-grades a few times a year.  Our chickens were out roaming around during the day, and the grader came by, back and forth, a dozen times, spooking the chickens and splitting up the flock.   Three were missing, and we spent a few hours searching for them as it began to get dark.  One of the MIA chickens returned, then another, but the final one didn’t come back.   The next morning, I found her on the far side of the barn – killed for sport by something – dead but not eaten.

Anyway, the remaining chickens are looking solid, and hopefully they’ll ramp up egg production soon.

Chickens attempting to storm the front door


happy flock

They will not get out much once it gets cold and snowy, so we’re continuing to let them out to free range during the day – although I’m slightly nervous about a few local cats that have begun to show up during the day…  I can’t tell if the cats are stalking the plethora of chipmunks that we have in our yard, or if they’re eyeballing our chickens.


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