When Marmite started laying she laid two tiny, teeny, eggs on her first two days running. Marmite then missed two days and then laid a normal sized egg which was only a tiny bit smaller than Smoke’s egg. Marmite then laid four days running and her eggs were smaller than Smoke’s eggs so it was easy to tell which was which.
The day before yesterday there were two, Marmite sized, eggs in the corner of the shed by the pop hole in the late afternoon. There were no other eggs that day. First thing the next morning was a larger, Smoke sized, egg in the same corner of the shed.
This made me think that the smaller egg with Marmite’s egg belonged to another girl just starting as it was unlikely that Smoke would lay a small egg in the late afternoon followed by a larger egg first thing in the morning. It was too soon for another egg and unlikely that if two were laid close together the second would be larger rather than smaller.
It’s difficult to show the difference in size in a photograph but there is a noticeable difference in the flesh.
Smoke’s larger egg from yesterday morning is on the left. Next is the mystery egg (also slightly darker as the smaller eggs usually are) and Marmite’s egg, followed by Marmite’s egg from the day before and then Smoke’s egg from the day before is on the right. Smoke’s eggs are also rounder in shape.
I realise that when I have nine seramas laying it will be impossible to keep track of which egg belongs to which girl but I felt frustrated that I didn’t know who the new layer was. No different girls had shown any interest in the nest boxes and I hadn’t seen Marmite go in the shed either so I had missed the whole thing.
Today the mystery was solved. Spangle was very vocal from the moment I started cleaning out the chicken shed first thing. Smoke was in her usual corner of the chicken shed and Spangle joined her there.
The next time I checked on them Marmite was in the middle nest box. Spangle was still very vocal and was behind the nest boxes and looking under each one. It was as if she knew that Marmite was in the nest box but couldn’t work out how to get in. I picked her up and put her in the nest box nearest the shed to show her where to go.
Spangle stayed in the nest box and for a little while Smoke joined her then moved on to the middle nest box to join Marmite.
The next time I checked there were two eggs from Smoke and Marmite in the middle nest box, one larger egg from Ebony in the nest box next to the storage cabinet and Spangle was settled in the nest box nearest the shed where I had put her.
When Smoke and Marmite started laying they would run from the nest box if I lifted the lid. Spangle is a much friendlier girl and was happy to have me photograph her.
When I next checked on them Spangle was out in the run and there was no egg but I felt happy that I now knew which girl the mystery egg was from. I also feel that Spangle has now learned how to get in to the nest boxes.
Well done Spangle!