We got our first egg this weekend!! I found the egg when I was cleaning the coop as it was under the roosts and not in the nest box. I worried one of my hens was going to lay all over the place and I would have to hunt eggs. The next day, when I got home from work, I did find an egg in one of the upper nest boxes. I was happy the egg laying on the coop floor was short lived but wondered who was laying the eggs.
The next morning I decided to check and see if I had an egg when I took the dog out to his pen. I opened the doors and was met by a large BAWK! from Lulu. She was sitting up in the nest box and not too happy at the lack of privacy. So I closed the door and was tickled that as least I now knew who was laying the nice brown eggs.
Lulu is my Red Star or Production Red. I wanted all brown egg layers except from the Easter Eggers I ordered. I ordered a variety of breeds to have a nice mixed flock.. but that also gave good production of eggs. With just me here at the house, and having to order 15 chicks, I did not need to have an entire flock of high production birds. I did make sure the breeds were better than average at producing eggs.. but I still got a few breeds that would be egg laying machines. The Red Star was ordered to fit that high production standard.
Lulu is not a very large hen and I have found her to be friendly and curious. She started laying in January.. at 21 weeks. Winter is often a time of reduced egg production and I figured there would be a delay in my first egg. She however had different ideas. She got busy doing what a Red Star is supposed to do.. produce eggs.
As if getting my first egg wasn’t a cause for celebration, I also got my first load of wood chips. I was supposed to get a load after the first of the year. Since I had not heard anything I called my contact at the tree trimming company and was told my electric company only does trimming at certain times during the month. At this time his trimmers were quite a distance away but they would be in my area the 28th of this month. He told me he would call me at that time to make arrangements to drop a load of chips. I still had a couple of weeks to wait for the chips and I could get some things ready for when they arrived.
A few hours later I received a call back from him to let me know that there was a “hot spot”.. trees in the electrical wires that needed removed immediately.. and they were in my area. I told him the address and got a call a little later by the driver to confirm he was at the correct house. I got home late that night and had a large pile of wood chips next to the driveway.
Took a look at the chips this morning as I get home after dark and it was difficult to see anything other than a large pile. It looks to be Mesquite with the different shades of the bark. I also have a little “green” in the mix from the leaves. This will assist in the decomposition as well as adding in some of the chicken manure. I will spend the weekend removing the leaves from the chicken pen and adding them to the compost pile. At this time they are crushed and mixed with the chicken manure so should decompose easily. Then the chicken run will be covered with several inches of these chips. I will have to keep a space open for them to dig in the dirt and dirt bathe. Then I will mulch around the chicken pen and then start adding to my garden areas. I hope to have enough to get around some of the trees.. but may have to wait to get more at the end of the month.
At this point in my life I have to laugh at how excited I have gotten over a brown egg and a pile of wood chips. It is hard to explain to co-workers or family just how thrilled I am with both of these events.. they just don’t understand. And that is OK. I have always liked things simple, comfortable and marched to the beat of my own drummer, but these days there is something more. Maybe with age comes wisdom.. and I am sure I have that going on. But I think the difference now is I have finally learned to be content. So.. now the little things matter and bring peace.