Look, I’m no chicken whisperer or even profess to know much about our fine feathered friends. We’re new to each other. I grew up listening to our roosters crow and enjoying the eggs the hens generously provided, but that was about it. We had a wonderful family on the place that were, in fact, chicken experts. I was chicken ignorant — until recently.
Fast forward to now as we have some laying hens (mostly Rhode Island Reds — see, I do kinda sound like someone who knows a little), and now we’ve moved on to seeing how well free range chickens work on the farm. Free range sounds great until you have a variety of hunting dogs, ATVs, Coopers Hawks (and all their birds of prey cousins), plus guests with farm-unsavvy dogs, UPS trucks, and anything else that might threaten an unsuspecting scratching hen or rooster.
So we’ve seen it all as it relates to chicken demises — and none are pretty. But aside from keeping them protected and alive, there’s more that is asked of a chicken owner — something nobody even suggested I’d have to know. How does one prepare for the most obvious of chicken challenges: what can you do to “inspire” young free range chickens to lay their first eggs. Seriously? They don’t just do it?
Well, sometimes, they need a little coaxing.
First, they deserve a cozy safe place to spend the night (and lay their eggs, gosh darn it.) So we built that.
We even baled the hay to put in the nesting boxes — a soft place for them to lay their blasted eggs.
And we waited.
Dumb chickens. Don’t they know their job?
And waited. Bird brains.
Bird brain, schmird brain. They were happy — scratching and generally avoiding getting knocked off by the next owl. Life was good — why work when you don’t have to, right?
STILL no cotton pickin eggs.
Until I read a little something about chicken inspiration. Who knew they were so tactile? They just needed to feel what an egg under their little bellies feels like. So…
So why not? How about a little Titleist inspiration?
OK … one night, then two.
Oh my goodness! Who knew??
Sorry girls! I just didn’t know. Forgive my muttering — I didn’t mean a word of it. Have I told you how wonderful you are today?