Emerald is laying every other day like clockwork at the moment. She is very happy to share a nest box with one of the little girls. Usually it is Dandelion but today it was Freckles.
They looked so sweet sat side by side that I went to get my camera. By the time I returned Emerald had just laid her egg so she was now stood up.
It looks as though Emerald is sat on Freckles but it’s just because Freckles has seen Emerald lay her egg and is instinctively trying to pull it towards herself. These little girls love to sit on an egg or eggs.
I reached under Emerald and removed her egg. Meanwhile Cinnamon and Dandelion were sunning themselves together.
There has been another odd thing going on around the egg laying. I talked to my mum about this recently but hadn’t got around to posting about it because I didn’t want to come across as humanising chickens and wanted to be sure I was pretty much correct with my assumption before saying anything.
There is something a bit odd going on with Speckles. As I have said before she has been doing sloppy poops for some time and hardly laying at all. She last laid an egg twelve days ago and that was the soft shelled egg that I posted about.
This is the first time she has laid a soft shelled egg and since then she has stopped laying altogether. I am not worried about not having eggs just a bit concerned that that means all is not completely well with her although she seems normal in every other way.
From that time she started shouting in the afternoons and I mean full on screeching/screaming. If I was indoors with the windows closed I could hear her.
There have been a lot of lovely sunny days and when sitting in the garden I started to worry about annoying the neighbours. It is as loud as a cockerel and is not something she has ever done before.
I tried distracting her, I tried telling her off and in desperation I tried squirting her with a water bottle. As soon as I moved away she started again. It was driving me to distraction.
As the week went on I suddenly realised that she was doing this whenever Emerald was in the nest box. We would have one quiet day and one day of this behaviour in time to Emerald laying every other day. I think she suddenly notices Emerald is missing and panics. As soon as Emerald has laid and is back out in the run all is calm again.
I think because Speckles isn’t laying herself she doesn’t think to go and look in the nest box. When Speckles was laying Emerald would always watch over her from the ramp and so she knew where she was. Speckles seems totally unaware that Emerald has gone in the nest box and will come to the bottom of the run and scream.
Today when this happened instead of trying to stop her I led her to the patio area and lifted the lid of the nest box to show her that Emerald and Freckles were in there and she immediately calmed and went quiet.
This has been happening since Speckles stopped laying twelve days ago. I will now try to lead her to the nest box whenever this happens while I am at home and maybe she will soon stop doing this.
Speckles and Emerald are such tight pair. They are still trying to sleep out at night too. I simply go and tell them to go in at about half past eight and watch over them as they make their way in.
Emerald always liked to perch out in the evenings after the other girls had gone in but when we had Peaches and Barley, Speckles would go in with them. As it neared dusk Emerald would jump down and join them. I think it’s because we no longer have Peaches and Barley that these two have become joined at the hip! This means that when Emerald perches outside Speckles of course joins her.
I think it’s that that has given Emerald the confidence to stay out. Now she has her partner in crime along side her they are happy to stay out. It’s heartwarming to see strong friendships in a flock but boy these two are so close that they are proving problematic. Never mind, I just have to deal with it. I suppose it is better than aggressive behaviour!