Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Great Egg Caper

For weeks we have been wondering where the eggs are. No one is molting, there are still plenty of daylight hours and yet we have only been getting one or two eggs a day. Not that we need any more than that, but I did wonder out loud, "Where are you ladies hiding those eggs?"..."Hiding eggs? We're not hiding anything, goodness, not us, no not us, Ma'am. Just stayin' busy around the barnyard, peckin' and scratchin', cacklin' and cooin', lots to do, gotta run."

After a day of free ranging, all chickens return to Apifera Farm's highly desirable Chicken House. Perfumed in only the freshest of chicken poop, it has both front, back and side doors, as well as a secret ramp known only to chickens. Complete with ten roosting huts, it also can accommodate the guest that wants to sit up on a top bunk so to speak, in the rafters that is. While this proves wonderful and safe for the chicken, it requires the morning housekeeper to watch for falling bombs from above.

So last night, as usual, I count all the chickens before I lock up their hut. Hmmmmmm, one missing. This is usually one of the new young roosters, but this night, I know it to be one of my favorite hens, Zuchi, a charming Frizzle. She never strays, and I begin to worry when I can't find her in any of the best hiding spots. It is now dark enough that I get my flashlight and make one more search in and around both barns. No Zuchi, but I did find a lot of bats.

I was quite despondent, but decided that since I had seen her an hour earlier, she was most likely hunkered down in a good spot and would return in the morning to the cockle-doodle-crowing of St. Francis of Assisi. Morning came, and no Zuchi. Morning feedings came and went, no Zuchi. While her flock made their morning rounds, no Zuchi. I prepared for the inevitable, and hated myself, tromping back into the house to announce to Martyn what a lousy chicken farmer I was.

About an hour later, Martyn appeared at my desk with a basket of about 25 eggs. He had gone to get some wood and found a nest tucked way under some cedar 2x4's, a cozy spot with some hay, and a little roof from an old board we had put down at some point. And there sitting roosting on those eggs was none other than Zucchi.


patrice said...

The little darlings!!
I used to find "nests" in a stand of bamboo, all soft and pretty with dried bamboo leaves making a soft bed!

coloredsock said...

what a great story, Katherine! i love it. 3 cheers for Zucchi-MAMA. and i'm so happy she's alright! ps does Martyn win some sort of prize for finding Zucchi and the eggs?? i think he deserves one!

Katherine Dunn/Apifera Farm said...

Martyn got kisses and clucks...

Paige said...

What a great find!

Julie said...

I really, really, really want chickens someday but for now I enjoy reading about yours (plus all your other critters). What a funny story!

Pam Aries said...

Whoa! over 2 dozen eggs? few moredays and you would have had a whole new brood!

S'mee said...

Delurking to say "Yeah!" Oh I am so glad everything turned out terrific!

May I link to you?

jojo said...

oh my goodness, i was just complaining about this the other day. 6 hens and 2 eggs? whats up with that? then i found it. 17 eggs. In my chimenea... :) i took seven and felt bad taking any more. they worked so hard to hide them from me...and funnier? i have two hens sitting the nest. oh well.

Not sure i've ever commented here before. I've been lurking for eaons though. Love it.

Julie said...

I just reread this story after passing it on to friends and realize it would make a great children's story.

Bronwyn said...

Do you think Zucchi was cross with Martyn - or felt bereft?

We always used to leave one egg in the nest for the hen, so she'd keep laying (so she didn't give up in despair!), on our farm, when I was a child.

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~