The Joys of Free-Range Chickens

Every once in awhile the chickens will get a wild hair (feather?) up their butt and decide that The Coop Is No Longer Desirable. Sometimes it's the presence of a broody hen, yelling at any other hens daring to approach her precious clutch. Other times they've figured out that their Eggs Are Disappearing, and that's not good. Whatever the reason, once they decide The Coop Is No Longer Desirable, they'll hie off to some hidden, cozy location on the property to start laying eggs anew.

This is the third time in two years I've had to do an egg hunt. None of those times have fallen on Easter, just so you know.

The current egg diaspora is due to Blondie #2, aka Specklebutt, who has been broody for several weeks. She has an egg that is close to hatching, and is being a royal scold to the other hens. "Screw this!", you can almost see the girls harrumph, "I'm going elsewhere!" This time "elsewhere" was behind two outdoor trashcans that are up against a cutaway on the backyard hill. Nice bed of oak leaves, too. They'd actually two different "wild" clutches going. The first one was found relatively quickly, and some eggs were appearing once more in the coop, but not at the same volume as before. This second one took over two weeks to find.

Once a clutch-in-the-wild is found, the hens (usually) go back to laying in the coop again. Crossing my fingers that they all finally do so. Crafty chickens!


  1. We have missed the hidden nests from time to time only to have them turn into broods of baby chicks running around the farm. Enjoy!

  2. Hey D.A., tell your hubby I said thanks for the inspiration! (he's now starring in one of my blog postings as well)

  3. Have you tried the plastic or wooden egg trick in the coop? I haven't had to as our hens are inside all of the time, but it might be worth a try. Happy hunting!

  4. Snow: yep, we've got fake eggs in the coop. I swear sometimes that the Cubalyas are counting them...

  5. Hey well done a great blog
    I find its hard to find free range eggs also
    I found about 20 eggs in where the cat is meant to sleep
    Very Strange

    Its winter here now so egg production is just decreasing
    Hoever my geese are just about to start !!

    Im not sure but i may just be your no. 1 fan from Australia
    Some day i hope to move more into the country and start an orchard just like you


  6. Hey Mitch, thanks for stopping in! Spouse has family in Australia - we hope to visit some day.

    Good luck with the goose eggs, and you have my best wishes for getting your orchard! Stay warm!


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