Damned Leghorns…

It’s pre-monsoon summer, and kind of hot. Walk into the Big Chickenhouse in the afternoon and you’ll see a whole bunch of chickens with their beaks open and their wings held away from their bodies, praying for the evening cool. So not surprisingly, egg production is off a bit.

But when you go to collect eggs in the morning and the count is zero, it’s time to start looking for their new hiding place.

The Leghorns have never been enthusiastic about using the nesting boxes. They normally all (or most) use the same hollow in the bedding so all the eggs end up in one place. And one of those girls right there has gotten very serious about hiding the eggs from the Bad Man. I come in in the morning, look around for eggs and find none, but here’s a little white hen sitting very still in an obscure corner and apparently paying no attention to me at all. When I shoo her away she spends the rest of my visit screaming and squawking bloody murder and when she moves she uncovers…

…the literal mother lode.

And she doesn’t always give it up without a fight. She’s a biter, that one…

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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14 Responses to Damned Leghorns…

  1. Robert says:

    Joel: How do you decide if an egg has been sitting (sat on?) for longer than you would like considering yer gonna eat it?

  2. Joel says:

    Doesn’t happen. Hens have been trying to hide eggs from me in this enclosure for years – they rarely outsmart me for long.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just found a blog called “the field lab” about a guy in Terlingua Texas. Looks a little like your gulch,
    Anyway he dammed some of the gully when monsoons come and has that as a source of water and swimming hole. Also a nice solar shower setup. He enclosed it not for privacy but as a windbreak

  4. Mike says:

    You know, if you dressed up the hens a bit they might have a higher self esteem and produce more… :^)


  5. Judy says:

    Colorado Hermit, Zelda, Claire – How handy are y’all with sewing machines? I think we need to fix Joel’s hens up? ROTFLMAO

  6. Robert says:

    Chicken dressing is mashed potatoes and gravy…

  7. Ben says:

    Only slightly less likely than Joel’s chickens in tu-tu? Joel in a tu-tu!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Just copied this from thefieldlab blog. I reading from the beginning :-). So he built the damn and then after working for a year (I think) it failed and now he is looking into this. I think the gulch needs a lake.

    Did a bit a of prep for the next phase of greenhouse welding then Maria the plant lady showed up to check on my Terlingua Creek Cat’s Eye plants. Inspired me to find more blooms to shoot. Found some more sources for wildlife habitat dam funding so I fired off emails to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Environmental Defense Fund. Have an appointment next week in Alpine with Texas Parks and Wildlife. Playing two angles…wildlife habitat and protecting an endangered species. 82,103,63,0,B

  9. Zelda says:

    Judy I can use a sewing machine to make chicken tutus, have a few concerns about making one for Joel, like how long would it need to be as he does not have feathers to compensate for a too-short tutu. But wouldn’t he be cute dressed like his chickens? lawsy, lawsy, lawsy And think of the emotional bonding, the chickens producing more eggs than he’s ever seen and being happy to give them to him. Peace and love in the chicken house…

  10. Mark Matis says:

    Yeah, Zelda. But then what would Laddie do???

  11. Joel says:

    I am preemptively declaring the Gulch a tutu-free zone.

  12. Judy says:

    Zelda – We would make it kilt length. Wonder how knobby Joel’s knees are? I’m sure we can find camo tulle netting, if not, spray paint to the rescue!

    Mark – We would have to make a forward and then an aft tutu for his lowness. ;>)

    Joel – Party pooper! LOL

  13. Mark Matis says:

    I suspect introducing her to this would stop the biting:

  14. Roger says:

    When I was a kid we raised meat and egg laying chickens. It was a pretty hard and fast rule that the egg layers went in to the stew pot after 2 years. At one point we had a little Rhode Island Red that Dad named Bitch Box. That hen never shut up if a human was around. Dad let her live because she would take you around and show you where all the eggs were hidden. Free range chickens can cover a pretty large area. I know that hen lived at least 5 years. A few years longer wouldn’t surprise me. It seemed like she was around as long as one of the family dogs.

To the stake with the heretic!