Gold and Storm have gone broody together

I have felt that Gold was ready to go broody for about a week. As she heads towards going broody she gradually spends longer and longer in the nest box but keeps laying yet another egg. Then she spends most of the day in the nest box without laying and I know she is broody.

Storm is quite different and just suddenly goes broody. She does the typical tail up stance and growl and just stops laying straight away.

Gold has laid twenty two eggs in five weeks since her last broody spell. Storm has laid sixteen eggs in four weeks since her last broody spell. This leaves us with only Dot laying. Luckily both these girls are easy to break out of it. I simply close the nest boxes when Dot has laid and leave them closed at bedtime so that Gold and Storm will perch in the chicken shed.

As Gold had only laid her last egg yesterday I opened a nest box for her today just in case she had one more egg to lay. Gold went straight in closely followed by Storm. Dot usually lays in the chicken shed but because these two girls were in the nest box together she wanted to join them.

As soon as Gold goes in the nest box Storm follows
Dot stands by the ramp and watches them
Gold and Storm settle in together
Dot chats to them

At this point I had to go out for a couple of hours. When I got back Gold and Storm were sitting on Dot’s egg. Now I knew that Gold wasn’t going to lay another egg so I lifted both girls out and closed the nest boxes.

It usually only takes about three days for Gold and Storm to give up being broody as they are not very committed and it helps that they perch at bedtime. It then usually takes about two weeks for them to start laying again. So for now it’s all up to Dot to keep us going.

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Group photos and an update

Yesterday I gave the girls some mash so that I could get a couple of group photos.

Mash for the girls
Looking good

I washed both Salmon and Sugar’s bottoms on Monday. I bought them into the bathroom one at a time and stood them in a washing up bowl. I cleaned them and dried them and they now both have clean fluffy bottoms. They have stayed that way since.

Salmon has bounced back to normal with no more sitting in the run so I don’t know what was the problem with her but for now it seems to have passed.

Sugar laid her three mini eggs over seven days and then went broody. It had been six weeks since she had previously laid her first seven eggs of the year. This time I decided that the best thing for her was to break her out of it straight away. I put her in the broody crate overnight and closed the nest boxes in between the girls laying during the day while moving sugar to the broody crate while they laid. With only Dot, Gold and Storm laying it hasn’t been difficult to do this.

After three nights in the broody crate sugar is over it. She is still sitting in the run a lot of the time but in between seems normal and is speedy to the treats. Only time will tell how she goes on. It’s usually a couple of weeks before she starts laying again so we will just have to wait and see what she lays next time.

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Sugar lays her third tiny egg and new girls in the pipeline

Yesterday Sugar once more spent about an hour in the nest box. She came out having laid her third tiny egg. I now have to revise my earlier thinking and have come to the conclusion that the mystery egg in the run must have belonged to Dot. It seems very unlikely now that Sugar has laid three tiny eggs that she would have laid a large one in between.

Sugar’s third tiny egg
The inside is very similar to the last one

In other news I will be getting new girls from pipinchick in a couple of weeks time. I was going to keep it as a surprise when they arrived but as Sophie and myself having been discussing pipinchick and possible breeds in the comments of my last post I decided to reveal this now.

I started looking at pipinchicks web site two weeks ago and I started a conversation with them first by e-mail and then later by phone.

The web site has a section for all the breeds they can have and then another section for all the breeds currently in stock. From the breeds not yet in stock I chose bantams French copper maran and splash maran. The copper maran looks like a smaller version of Star and the splash maran is white with blue/grey splashes. I would like three girls to make the most of the delivery charge so looked at bantam wyndottes too. I liked the gold pencilled and the white laced. Being laced it is white but with a hint of lavender/grey.

During our first conservation it transpired that the marans won’t be available this year and wyndottes wouldn’t be ready for a couple more months. I ticked the box to be notified when the wyndottes became available. I felt disappointed but couldn’t resist continuing to look in on the web site every day.

I had often said that it was a shame they only did one colour of the modern game because Storm is a firm favourite for me and I would love some more modern game in different colours.

Then on Wednesday I looked in again and my heart leapt. There were two new colours of modern game and only a few in stock. There was one gold/salmon modern game and four silver/salmon modern game. I knew that I needed to jump on it fast. No more e-mail, it was time to call.

I had a good chat with Suzanna. I said that I would like to order the two colours of modern game but would like a third girl and was hoping for a wyndotte too. She said that they had no white ones hatched this year as yet but had some gold pencilled wyndottes that she thought were almost ready.

Suzanna said to go ahead and buy the two modern game and in the mean time she would ask her partner how soon the wyndotte would be ready and if it was in a couple of weeks they could hold the modern game and I could have the three together.

Suzanna e-mailed on Thursday, which was my birthday, to say that the gold pencilled wyndotte would be ready in about two weeks time. I had paid for the two modern game so she sent me an invoice for the wyndotte and I paid for that too. I told her it was my birthday and it was the best birthday present. She has pencilled me in for a delivery on Tuesday 13th June. Below are the photos from the web site.

Gold pencilled wyndotte
Left – gold/salmon modern game and right silver/salmon modern game

I am so excited. The reason for the wait is that pipinchick don’t like to let their girls go too young. They prefer for them to be three and a half months old. In two weeks time the modern game will be three and a half months old but the wyndotte will only be two and a half months old.

Suzanna was willing to make an exception for me so that I could have three girls together. We discussed that they would need to be on growers pellets and I explained that I am happy to keep them in the separated part of the run and of course on growers pellets. I said that this was what I did last year.

I am so looking forward to getting these new girls and I think that they will fit in with the flock perfectly.

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Sugar lays another tiny egg

Yesterday Sugar sat in the nest box for about an hour. I hoped that she might lay a normal egg this time. She came out of the nest box and I checked. She had laid another tiny egg that was possibly even smaller than the last one.

I held off writing a post until today to see if it would be followed by a large egg. Sugar sat in the nest box for two hours this morning but came out without laying.

Sugar’s second tiny egg
Next to a pound coin for size comparison

It has a little calcium bubble on the top of the shell and the shell was hard to break once more.

I thought this one had no yolk but I think it has a very pale yolk

Sugar’s feathers seem a bit ruffled and she has a mucky bottom. She also spends a lot of time sitting on the ground although she has spells of looking normal in between.

Sugar’s feathers seem sort of fluffy
Sugar spends a lot of time sitting like this

I know that all is not right with Sugar. I have never had this before though so there is nothing to do but wait and see how she progresses.

I am also a bit worried about Salmon. Salmon has been very vocal lately and I dread that she may come back into lay. Like Sugar she looks fine some of the time but also has a mucky bottom. Some of the time she too sits and seems to be breathing heavily.

Salmon sometimes looks great
Salmon not looking good either

I wouldn’t be surprised if we lost these two girls this year. I am not happy with how they are both looking. Salmon has had a good run being our eldest serama yet but I know that her time may be running out. I also know that whatever is going on with Sugar she is not quite right.

The other girls are looking fine and all three laid today.


I am trying to stay positive but I am also trying to be realistic and prepare myself for the worst. If I lose Salmon and Sugar in the near future that will be the end of my serama journey. I have loved these little girls but they seem so fragile and I have lost so many that it has also been heartbreaking.

Going forward I will try to bring in hardier breeds. After recent additions I have decided that I am happier with small bantam breeds but I need to go for more robust breeds in future. I don’t want the constant worry of seramas despite loving each and every one of them that we have had.

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A dish of mash for the girls

Our flock is small and harmonious. All five girls are quite different, very pretty and have lovely natures. They get on so well together that they will share one small dish of mash.

The girls having some mash

I love the flower formation as they all eat together. Because of the bobbing heads I only managed two photos without at least one girl being blurred. The photo above is my favourite photo.

They share so nicely

Salmon had moved out a bit on this one but it was the only other clear photo. They are such a lovely little flock.

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Mystery egg

Yesterday morning, the day after Sugar’s tiny egg, there was an egg in the run. It was right at the bottom end of the run. It was white and bigger than Gold and Storm’s egg. It was almost the size of Dot’s egg but Dot’s eggs are a slightly beige colour.

I think that it is Sugar’s egg. I think she has had a blip in her egg production and instead of producing two normal sized eggs she has produced a tiny egg and a large egg.

I waited before writing this post because I thought that if all the laying girls laid as well that would be proof that it was Sugar’s egg. Later in the day Gold laid and then Storm laid. I was really hoping that Dot would lay too but unfortunately she didn’t which means I can’t say with complete certainty but I am still convinced and it would explain why Sugar has been struggling to lay.

Also it seems odd that it was laid out in the run which is something that Dot has never done. I think it may have caught Sugar by surprise and later she went to the nest box and sat for a short spell before leaving.

The mystery egg between two of Dot’s eggs

Dot always lays a slightly bigger egg (the egg on the right) after a day’s break. She then lays two or three days in a row producing a slightly smaller egg. Her eggs are always a slightly beige colour whereas all the other girls lay white eggs.

The mystery egg on the right, Gold’s egg in the middle and Storm’s egg on the left

These three eggs were all laid yesterday so the mystery egg could only belong to either Sugar or Dot and looking at the first egg photo it really doesn’t look like Dot’s egg.

We lost Shadow last spring due to her getting a large egg stuck and Sugar and Shadow came in together. They were from the same batch of chicks so a larger egg from Sugar is a possibility.

Only time will tell if Sugar now goes on to lay normally which I am hoping will be the case. Whatever will be will be and there isn’t anything I can do about it so I am going to try to stop worrying and enjoy the girls.

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Sugar lays the tiniest egg I have ever seen

Over eight days Sugar has sat in a nest box, every other day, four times. Each time she sat for about an hour and then she came out without laying. Today is day nine and Sugar sat in the nest box for two hours. She then came out having laid the tiniest egg that I have ever seen.

A tiny egg
Next to a pound coin for size comparison
With Gold and Dot’s egg also laid today
It had a tiny red yolk

The shell was really hard to break and the yolk was tiny and red. We have had some first, serama eggs, before that were tiny but they were about twice the size of this one.

I am hoping that Sugar might get back to normal now. This has been one of the weirdest things yet. I am glad that she has laid something though as it’s more positive than having a problem getting an egg out. It’s as if she has had to start all over again. Only time will tell how Sugar progresses in the future but I am just happy that for now she has laid something.

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I don’t know what is going on with Sugar

Sugar last laid on the eighth April, five weeks ago. She laid her first seven eggs of the year and then went broody. I broke her out of her broody spell just over two weeks ago. Ever since then Sugar has spent a lot of time just sitting on the ground.

In between sitting Sugar seems normal and scratches, dust baths, preens, eats and drinks and runs to the treats. It’s just that after seeing Star spending all her time sitting this makes me worried. I put it down to Star’s bad ankle but should have known that chickens are not sensible enough to rest a bad ankle.

It is about now that Sugar usually starts laying again. Three times, every other day, Sugar has sat in a nest box for about an hour and then left without laying.

Sugar in the nest box
Sugar sitting with her wings down and tail up

Sometimes Sugar has been sitting like this which made me think she could have an egg stuck. I have picked her up and inspected her but can’t see anything wrong. I took this photo before her first session in a nest box. She has since returned to the nest box every other day and yesterday came out shouting. I thought that may have meant she had finally got an egg laid but there was nothing there again.

Since her third time of sitting in the nest box Sugar perked up. Today I thought she seemed back to normal but have just checked on her and she is now sitting again. I really have no idea what is going on with her. If she had an egg stuck she would have deteriorated by now. I know from past experience that they go down hill very quickly when they have an egg problem.

In other news Storm came out of her broody spell and laid again on the same day that Gold went broody which was a week ago. Storm had a twelve day break and then started laying again. We seem to be doomed to only having two girls laying at any one time. Dot has been our only steadfast layer and often lays two or three days in a row.

I feel that something is not right with Sugar. She has always come back into lay easily before. It’s all very odd. I guess only time will tell.

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A communal dust bathing session

I love seeing the girls dust bathing together. Storm often seems to be the helper. She was going between Gold and Dot and pecking around them. She had a film of dust on her back so had obviously already had her turn.

Communal dust bathing
Storm is being the helper

Dust bathing girls are happy girls and it always makes me smile to see them dust bathing together.

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A lovely weekend

We really enjoyed the coronation weekend. We watched the whole thing on television on Saturday with wine and nibbles. We felt proud to witness such a historical event and thought the whole thing was spectacular.

On Sunday we were invited to afternoon tea and drinks with our allotment friends plus the neighbours opposite us. We had such a good get together. We watched the Windsor concert together and ended up getting back home in the early hours of the morning.

Bank holiday Monday I decided to give the girls a fish treat. I like to include them and it’s good to see them looking so good.

The girls have a fish treat
They are enjoying their fish

It’s been such a lovely weekend and it’s good to see the girls looking happy too.

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