Lefty seeks a nest

Hens are pretty serious creatures. They do not tend to frolic around like sheep or deer or puppies. They do two thing. Eat and lay eggs. They do these with concentrated effort and unwavering dedication.

So their whole day consists of two things:  finding food and finding a nesting spot to lay their eggs. Now most hens are in a confined space and know just where to lay their eggs every day. It’s easy and goes something like this:

“Oh look, there’s an egg back in that dark corner! I must have laid it there yesterday. What a clever girl I am! I shall lay another lovely egg there today.” Never mind if it is her egg, someone elses egg, a stone egg or a golf ball. If they see something egg-ish, they are quite content to lay their egg right there.

The funniest time was when older son was playing with them at feeding time. Now keep in mind that they are very single-minded about the only 2 things they do. He took a scoop of their food and when running back and forth through the yard to give them exercise. After a few laps around the yard, he looked back and a white egg was sitting in the middle of the lawn. Some gal or other just couldn’t run and hold the egg in any longer. Poor thing. The girls had no idea where the egg came from and looked at each other as if to say “was that you?”

But some hens escape their confines, all the time. They are like Ginger in “Chicken Run”. Our Lefty, a brown Leghorn, is just such a gal. There is no pen she cannot escape from. But the downside is, now where does she lay her eggs? Other than finding food, this is the most important and time consuming task they have for the day. Where to lay her egg?

I have found them in the most peculiar places. It’s not always easy to find them. They will come out from an egg laying hideout, walk across the yard and start cackling to let the world know she has laid an egg and no use looking for it because it is nowhere near her now! And be sure not to look under that lovely bit of jasmine bush either. But since I cannot speak chicken, I do not know where she might have put it. I have found a clutch of eggs behind old boards, under bushes or cactus, even in the nice, soft, dark dog house. (Our dog thought he had hit the jackpot with a fresh egg being delivered to his bed everyday! Yum!)

This bold hen even comes into the house whenever the screen door is left open. Just this morning I heard a rustling in the kitchen and when I went in there, I saw Lefty’s tail feathers sticking out from behind a movable rack, oddly enough, just where I store extra egg cartons! I shooed her out before I could get a picture. A little  while later I saw her rummaging through the cat food. They love cat and dog food.

“Now Lefty, you march right on out of here!”

But she will rustle behind a fake potted plant, come out to cackle, then go off somewhere else to rummage. I will look around and it was a false alarm. She is just trying to give me the slip or just can’t make up her pea-sized mind. I recently found a clutch of about 5 of her eggs in a hollow under our huge jasmine bush. It was filled with dead leaves, making a nice soft nesting spot. I would have picked there if I were a chicken. I just wish she would remember where she puts them so I don’t have to go looking around again. But once I take the eggs away, its problematical whether she will lay there again or not. She could do the ol’ “I could have sworn I left my nest right there. A fox must have got them..oh dear!” Never mind that we are in the suburbs and she has never actually seen a fox. Its her bottom-of-the-food-chain mentality. Or she gets trapped in the coop for a couple of days before finding a new way out and doesn’t remember where she put the darn things.

So I still have to wait her out and see if her egg turns up today. I think it is time to deploy the fake egg trick again. I have 2 blue stone eggs sitting on my desk right now. I will go put them in nesty spots, not too  hidden or she won’t find them.

Oh, by the way, in case you were wondering, the eggs are fine when I find them. Even if they are a few days old. The protective “bloom” that is on them when first laid keeps bacteria out and helps them stay fresh.

Wait, I hear some cackling, got to run!


Lookie what I found, just by the back steps, behind a fake potted plant:

Think she will notice the difference? eh-ha-ha…

One thought on “Lefty seeks a nest

  1. Wow, lefty is a character, please don’t eat her! Let her retire here to the L&L Rancheria in Silverton, Oregon. She would fit right on with all our crazy barnyard animals, our lung Turkey “Jenny” hopped up on top of Auroras sandwich on the table outside!! Super funny, she didn’t laugh🐔🌈

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