This one thinks she’s the Queen Chicken.
She likes to get up on her perch over the door between the chicken yard and the chicken house and oversee her domain. Sometimes she lets another hen join her.
But not for long. It’s her perch and all the other chickens know it. How she maintains her supremacy, I don’t know. She’s a wee thing. A banty hen. And she hasn’t laid a single egg so far, but that doesn’t stop her from playing head of the hen house. She’s downright regal, a genuine Cleopatra.
Doesn’t she look like an Egyptian queen etched in stone?
Cleopatra: “Give me to drink mandragora that I might sleep out this great gap of time. My Antony is away.”
Spartacus, her Antony: “Finish, good lady; the bright day is done and we are for the dark.”
Okay, that’s enough Shakespeare, chickens………
However!! They are for the dark. They have stopped laying. Not that Cleopatra was ever participating to begin with, but whoever was laying has now ceased and desisted.
So I cleaned out the nest eggs I’d been saving, hoping one hen might choose to sit. (None are showing any intentions. And it’s cold and these eggs are old now.)
I took them inside and cooked them up. I took 20 eggs out of that nest. Made me wish I’d gone ahead and picked them up all along when they were still fresh.
I saved the eggshells to dry and crumble and give back to the chickens. Nothing goes to waste on the farm. (These eggs were really dirty because they’d been sitting in the nest a long time. The eggs I have been picking up don’t have time to get this dirty, but if they are dirty at all, I wash them when I take them inside so I don’t risk getting dirt in food when I break them open. These eggs are for Coco, though, so I didn’t bother cleaning them up.)
Coco didn’t mind a snack of scrambled old dirty eggs.
And so the chickens appear to be retired, for now. Young as they are, maybe I’m lucky they laid for me even a little while before the short days of winter hit them and put them in “sleeper” mode. I’ve tried it all, good layer feed, a light in the hen house to “lengthen” their days, leftovers from the farmhouse table, etc. It’s just time for them to take a rest, I suppose.
And so, my beloved chickens, we will not be disappointed but rather we will look forward together to spring! I wish you more eggs, fluffy chicks, long days, warm sunshine, and straw full of bugs!
Spartacus: “I wish you all the joy of the worm. What’s brave, what’s noble, let us do it after the high Roman fashion and make death proud to take us. Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have immortal longings in me. Here is my space. Kingdoms are made of clay. Indeed the tears live in an onion that should water this sorrow–”
STOP IT WITH THE SHAKESPEARE ALREADY!!!