Sunday, January 4, 2009

Stupid Chickens

We had another interesting discovery yesterday which doesn’t involve the land, but it does involve the little monsters that started us down this path, so it seems appropriate to include it. Up until about 2 weeks ago, the 6 laying chickens had been averaging production of about 4-5 eggs per day. Then we noticed a significant drop off to 2-3 per day. That seemed odd, but we had read that egg production will slow down in the winter. Ok fine. So Jenna and I are sitting on the deck in the morning drinking our coffee (again it’s in the 70’s and sunny. I love Texas winters) when Lulu (our littlest dog) crawls out from under the deck with an egg in her mouth. Jenna and I look at each other as the realization hits us at the same time…they’ve been laying eggs under the deck. Jenna starts crawling around the edge of the deck with the flashlight looking for any new nests. After a few minutes, I hear Jenna utter an expletive that I won’t bother repeating, and I knew she had hit pay dirt. Back in the most inaccessible corner under the deck was a nice pile of eggs. So, I begin dismantling that corner of my deck (stupid chickens!) in order to be able to reach said eggs. When all is said and done, we recovered about 12 eggs. Great, now how do we prevent this from continuing? I immediately begin thinking of how to fortify the deck and make the underside impenetrable for even the smallest creature (I’m an engineer, I can’t help myself). As I was explaining my plans, and getting excited about my impending trip the Home Depot, she put up a hand and said something along the lines of let’s just remove all of these eggs and put a few back in the real nests to see if that encourages them to go back there. While a simpler (and cheaper) approach, I was skeptical that these animals were really that dumb, but I went along with it (only because that gave me more time to devise my under-the-deck-egg-laying-prevention-setup). So, we marked a handful of the sub-deck eggs with a “B” which stands for “Don’t Eat These”, and we placed them back in the real nests. When we returned last night, we found 6 non-B eggs in the nests. I can’t believe that worked. Now in the future when production slows, we’ll know to check elsewhere instead of blaming the weather. Stupid chickens.

No comments: