Tuesday, March 16, 2010

saved from the stewpot?...

For the last ten days HP (HennyPenny) has been sent to Coventry, aka Chicken Dignity Village, rather than in the main pen with the three speckledy sisters. I'd been suspecting that her egg-laying days were behind her, several signs were pointing that way... when I refill the calcium supplements, the other hens go to town, like one of the wooden carved Russian "pecking chickens" toys, and she ignores it.

She was definitely eating more than her share of the food, and is looking particularly plump.  My friend Sharon suggested that I pick her up and feel her pelvic bones; if a hen is laying well, her undercarriage will be nice and wide, about 2 ½ to 3 fingers apart. HP was none to happy to have me feeling up her bottom, but her bony bits were much closer than that, I could barely fit two of my child sized fingers (and just to explain, you are fitting your fingers, under her feathery self, to feel for the pokey-outy bits, kind of like our elbows, but different. I think that the pelvic bones are more like the sitting-on bones when you are riding a bike, not that HP rides a bike... (but I digress)
a very muddy and unexpected egg
Today, much to my surprise, when I went out to check on them all, I not only found three lovely eggs in the nest box, but HP had laid an egg as well, at the bottom of the cage. Is this a fluke? I'll be keeping an eye on her for the next week or two at least. She is four years old, not old for a chicken, but definitely past her prime; the new young hens are laying almost every day, as opposed to once a tenday.
(click the cartoon to see it bigger)

1 comment:

  1. Yeah for HP maybe she got the idea,lay or the pot!