Spring greens and an egg in the run

I give the girls spinach every day but I am missing the big bags of greens I used to get from my friend Jackie’s allotment. Now that Jackie has moved away I don’t have access to the abundance of allotment greens any longer.

I decided to give the girls spring cabbage as well as spinach so that they have greens to peck at that last longer.

Spring greens for the girls

I heard the sound of a little girl’s, egg laying, shout so went to check.

Dandelion’s egg

There among the greens was Dandelion’s egg. This is Dandelion’s fifth egg and she has yet to get an egg in the nest box. Her eggs now have good, solid, shells and they are the smallest, palest shelled, eggs of the little girls.

She just doesn’t seem to be aware of when her egg is about to arrive. I imagine she was having some greens when out it dropped.

At least she isn’t having a problem with laying now that her eggs have good shells. I guess in time she will get used to the feeling of when an egg is coming. I am sure that one day she will actually lay one in a nest box.

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14 Responses to Spring greens and an egg in the run

  1. Marion Pharo says:

    I am sure she wll get there in the end.

  2. David Anderson says:

    Most do it right from the outset, but sometimes it takes some time. Remember Dart? Even as a mature hen, she laid at least half of hers outside, sometimes in areas I found difficult to access. Hope she gets the right idea soon! The positive I always took was that it confirmed I had no egg eaters.

    • You are right, I am always amazed that most girls know right from the start how to lay an egg in a nest box. I think with Dandelion it’s just that she doesn’t seem to know when her egg is due. She sits in the cat box nest box either long before her egg arrives or a while after her egg has arrived. I do remember Dart. Like you say it does also show that there are no egg eaters which is a really good thing. None of the girls was showing any interest in her egg.

  3. Carol says:

    I have a comment from Ana which I have approved but for some unknown reason it isn’t appearing on the blog post. Instead I will put her comment and my reply here.

    Ana asked if I feed my chickens spring greens so that they lay good eggs and also how long has Dandelion been having this problem.

    These two things are not related. I give my girls all sorts of greens, spinach, chard, dandelion leaves, cabbage, broccoli, spring greens, turf. It’s good for chickens to have greens and the one treat that they can have plenty of. My girls are not able to free range therefore I make sure they have greens every day. I also give them some fruit such as apples and some sunflower hearts and corn as treats but only small amounts.

    The greens do give the eggs a lovely orange colour but that is a side effect. The girls love greens and it keeps them happy and occupied.

    Dandelion has only recently started laying and has now laid a total of six eggs. All of these eggs have been laid in the run or under her bedtime perch. It seems as if she doesn’t know when her egg is coming. The first egg she laid in the run was right in front of me and seemed to just drop from her and then she carried on walking away and then went to sit in a nest box for a while. She always sits in the nest box either before laying an egg in the run or after laying an egg in the run. Her eggs are really tiny so I think she just doesn’t realise when she is laying them. She is well and the eggs are fine wherever they are laid so it’s not a problem. It was just coincidence that she laid next to the greens that day. Her next egg was further out in the run.

    Sorry to give such a long reply but I wanted to explain as fully as I could.

  4. Lucy says:

    I have been trying to figure out how to plant greens in our chicken run so that the hens will not destroy them. Perhaps a box with fencing around and over it until the greens can grow enough to remove the fencing and the girls can have a little garden? which will last moments i suppose……..

    • Over the last six years I have tried everything to get greens in the chicken run. I had an idea of planting grass in trays and rotating them. I would put a tray in the run, one at a time and when stripped leave it out to regrow. It didn’t work because the girls scratched the roots out. I planted mint which is really tough and spreads quickly but they still managed to destroy it. I planted shrubs with a cage over them but as soon as it was removed they destroyed the plants. The only plants that have survived are the tall shrubs, four of them, but they have been stripped to the height that the girls can reach. I have given them herbs in pots but they only last a day. We had an apple tree in the run and they would fly into the tree to eat the leaves. The apple tree got to tall eventually and we had to chop it down. I don’t think there is way of keeping greens at low level. I think I have tried just about everything possible.

      • Lucy says:

        Oh I am glad you shared this information. So then my next experiment will be planting on the outside of the run against the fence and of course they will munch anything that they can reach but they will not be able to scratch the roots. And finally, warm and sunny weather!!!

        • I have a dandelion patch outside the run. As you say they will eat anything they can reach but they can’t get at the roots. I can then pick the leaves and pass them through the weld mesh. They go crazy for them and you wouldn’t think that they have greens every day the way they go for the dandelion leaves. Visiting children also love to feed the dandelion leaves through the mesh.

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