We are back, and the hens are wonderful as ever. It is very fun (and very funny) to watch their egg-laying and bug chasing antics.
First of all, after talking with my mom, I wanted to mention that chickens DO really throw themselves a little post-egg celebration every day. My mom thought this was a purely cartoon and movie creation, which I suppose I might of thought too until I got my chicken literature and did some research. We heard them clucking, ba-cocking, and generally having a funny chicken party this morning as they were laying their eggs. Mrs Tweedy in particular seemed to like congratulating other hens on their eggs- she was very, very vocally supportive of Biggie's 10:30am egg (which was a nice brown egg).
I want to be clear that this is not a loud egg party. Hens are not loud. For instance, with the windows open, you could hear them faintly from the living room when two were having an egg party. With the bedroom window being at a 90 degree angle from the chicken pen, I doubt you could hear it from our bedroom at all. Also, I doubt my neighbors would have heard it unless they were in their backyard. Besides, 2 out of 3 of my direct next door neighbors are functionally deaf.
The real news is that the egg laying is going so well. We arrived home to 5 eggs on Tuesday, and another 5 were laid today. They are fascinatingly slightly different- different textures, finishes, speckly-ness, and shapes. We are still not sure on all the exact personal differences between the eggs, but a few things are clear;
Pot Pie lays a pale olive or avocado colored egg. In some lights, it looks kind of bluish in tint, but I'd say it is more on the light green side. It is a slightly smaller egg than a commercial AA egg, and more elongate. It is somewhere between matte and glossy finish, tending towards matte.
Mrs Tweedy lays a big, matte finish, perfectly brown egg. This is an egg you might buy at the store and not blink twice. Her eggs seem to be on the "plump" side, as opposed to elongated. They tend towards spherical, although not extremely so.
Biggie lays a bright brown, glossy finish egg. Her eggs are shiny and smooth, and tending towards elongated. Also, her eggs are a little bit small- about the size of Pot Pie's. This surprises me, as she should be a large size layer. I wonder if she'll grow into it.
Littles has yet to lay an egg that we can definitively pinpoint was hers.
Beldar has yet to lay an egg. Her eggs will be white. She is both the youngest chicken, and the one with the longest time to maturity, so it might be another month.
The Wyandotte sisters are laying medium sized, slightly pale, matte finish brown eggs with a very very subtle white dotted speckles on them. The speckles are a nice detail that sets them apart from the other eggs. Their eggs are the most conventionally egg shaped, although they are smallish. Like someone shrunk a brown AA egg about 15% and then airbrushed some perfect tiny white dots onto it. I hope soon we'll see if there are differences between Zippy and Rosie's respective eggs.
Hens, I am happy to report, like over-ripe tomatoes, accidentally kicked unripe pumpkins, too-large-to-eat cucumbers, enormous squash, and stale crackers.