For the first time in nearly twelve months, the back left corner of the plot has started to produce something on a regular basis other than chicken shit. Granted chicken shit is extremely useful to the home gardener, but it just doesn't make an omelet the way you'd like. Usually of late I've found myself writing about maximums - but in a turn of events this week, I'd like to introduce you to minimum egg:
Not only is this the first egg we've gotten from the new flock, it's also the first egg that's been small enough to nearly slip right through Fisher & Paykel's handy egg tray. That's ok - They're new to this.
Despite their early difficulties in coming to terms with their new surroundings, these birds have come to prove a little better adjusted than our last flock. Most notably, our previous birds had an endearing quality where they'd always lay their eggs in the pile of shit they'd freshly deposited over night. It was hardly giving-your-offspring-the-best-start-in-life... and probably just as well this path of evolution was nipped in the bud. It would make you think twice about egg refrigeration. Or that piece of egg shell that you just lost in the cake mix.
These new birds have also started using the perch I almost removed because it just didn't seem to be a crowd-puller. I'd gotten so used to it never being used, it didn't even click to me initially that it was the probable cause of the neat, geometrically straight line of chicken shit that would appear in the nesting box each morning. No, it seemed more plausible to me that some supernatural being was attempting to warn me of the fate of the world rather than that perch being used. From our first experiences I'd come to expect that chickens like to sleep in a pile of their freshly laid shit, too. As it would seem, these birds have made a great cognitive leap for poultry-kind, and discovered the avian equivalent of the wheel. Either way - I found the first egg neatly deposited far away from said phenomenon.
There's hope for them yet.