Monday, September 8, 2008
Watching for eggs
Not much has happened with the chickens in the last three weeks, and we were also on vacation for a bit, but I'll catch up here.
We think Wilma is getting close to being old enough to lay eggs because her comb and wattles have come in. She now looks like a chicken, in the most classic sense. See for yourself.
I never did buy a manual on raising chickens, although I checked out the few books available to me at the Seattle Public Library. They're always on back order -- tells you something about Seattle. But there's a very active web site called backyardchickens.com, with an active forum of users. If you have a question, you can either submit it on the forum or, better still, just look and see what else everyone is asking about. If it's a common chicken question, at least one person has asked it in the last 24 hours. You'd think the chicken experts would get tired of answering the same questions all the time, but apparently they don't. Anyway, the red pigmentation and the comb and wattles all have something to do with the chicken reaching maturity, so either Wilma is going to start crowing or she's going to start laying eggs.
To encourage the latter, we put a golf ball in the laying box. Said golf ball is supposed to give a young chicken a visual clue about where to put her first egg. We could have used ping-pong balls or plastic Easter eggs, but this happened to be what we had in the garage. Greg said he hopes that instead of laying eggs, she'll lay golf balls. They'd certainly be worth more!
I peek in the coop window every morning in hopes of sighting the first egg, and every few days I do a more thorough search by opening up all of the little doors in back. But so far, she's holding out on me.