Maximum Egg Capacity, Minimum Egg Edibility

Today I was pleasantly surprised to find two eggs in one of the nesting boxes. Huzzah! Legolas has laid her first egg ever. I figured Frodo was the first to start laying again from the consistency of the eggs after the first one and her general noisiness. “I’ve been a busy girl! Look what I did!” I can definitely tell the difference between the two eggs. Legolas’ first egg is small and narrow, typical of a new layer, and pale. Frodo’s first egg was slightly paler and smaller but the rest have been the usual lovely light brown Frodo eggs. She’s a good ‘un when she’s laying. In another day or two we would be able to eat the eggs after the withholding period for the medicated chick starter has elapsed, but, typically, that is not to be.

Two eggs today! Legolas’ first egg ever on the left and Frodo’s egg on the right.
The tray of eggs that we can’t eat. Frodo’s first egg of the season is on the left and Legolas’ first egg ever is the pale one. I’m still umming and ahing about what to do with these potentially fertile eggs.

There have been a small number of slightly bloody poops in the coop, not as bad as what Legolas and Gimli did when they were pullets and I lost Gimli to coccidiosis, but enough to get my radar up. Since none of the chickens were lethargic I held off for a few days while keeping an eye on them. I have been expecting coccidiosis to rear it’s head since I transitioned them off the medicated feed and the weather has been ridiculously wet for weeks, a ripe condition for coccidiosis. The young chickens have to have a run-in with it in order for their bodies to learn to cope with it, but there’s a fine line between pushing through it and not being able to handle too much of it. This morning the poop in the coop looked like there was more than one chicken with bloody poops and, although none of them seem lethargic (although it’s hard to tell in this weather), Mr Bingley had a bit of the tail-down thing going on. I cannot risk losing my dear Mr Bingley! And so, I treated their water with Baycox, which has an egg withholding period of 10 days. Blagh. Oh well, keeping my chickens alive and healthy is more important than missing out on some eggs. Some decent sunshine would be really good right about now.

Mr Bingley (back) has been carrying his tail lower than he should be: a subtle sign that all isn’t quite right. Orange Feet is in front of him.
My dear Mr Bingley. This dude has definitely stolen my heart. I hope he’s as tough as he is beautiful.

In other chicken news, the other day I had just finished giving The Little Fulla his afternoon tea when I spotted a dog by the chicken pen. It was the red sausage dog that I have only seen twice before, but it was right in the corner of my garden by my chicken fence. NOT MY FEATHER CHILDREN! I rushed out the door with such tenacity that I forgot about the metal child safety gate, which I rammed through so hard I forced it out of its locked position. Somehow, I was ok, but the gate is not quite the same now. God help anyone who ever tries to mess with my human child. I chased that dog off our property like a madman. Sure, it’s just a Dachshund, so it can’t get over the chicken fence, but it could still dig or force its way in if it tried hard enough. I haven’t seen it since but if it comes back there’s going to be trouble. I’ve heard too many stories about what dogs can do to chickens. I am on high alert.

Legolas (left) and Frodo (right) hog the treats bowl together. Now that Legolas has started laying she is a proper lady and is looking beautiful with her big tail.
Frodo’s comb is looking very red, a sure sign of laying. Mind you, Legolas has always been rather red in the face so I never knew when she was going to start popping them out! The youngies don’t get much of a chance with the treats bowl at the moment. When I’m not hand-feeding treats I think I need to put them out in two bowls. Mr Bingley ate a few sunflower seeds out of my hand today while Legolas and Frodo were distracted, so I’m feeling quite pleased with myself.

2 thoughts on “Maximum Egg Capacity, Minimum Egg Edibility

  1. I was wondering if the cocci was going to affect the babies, after all you did to clean the coop and even moving the whole flock to new digs. The good news is Frodo’s Littles are not small any more. Hopefully you’ll keep it contained.


    1. Yeah, I have realised it’s not a case of ‘if’ but ‘when’ with coccidiosis, thanks to our humid and wet (at least in winter) environment. Hence the no brainer for me in choosing medicated chick starter. It’s alright though. I’m not scared of coccidiosis like I was before since I have a better understanding of how it works and how to treat it. If any chickens can’t cope with it even after treatment they’re probably not ideal for our environment anyway. Man, chicken losses have turned me into a tough nut! But having chickens that thrive in my environment means less losses in the long run so I’m really just trying to create less grief for myself in the future. If that makes sense. 😛 I’m still surprised all eight babies have done so well from birth to now, considering all the things that can go wrong!

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