Spring is in the air, and three out of four of our hens have resumed laying. As far as we can tell, Isabella is still on hiatus. Isabella is the one chicken who gets along with everyone else. She's funny and friendly, and even if she isn't cranking out the eggs, we enjoy having her in our garden.
The chickens are a bunch of knuckle-heads, really. We provide them with three nest boxes, but for some reason, they all fixate on one box and all insist on laying eggs in only that box. It's not that this box is in any way different from the others. In fact the "approved" box changes throughout the year. They all want to use one box, and then suddenly they all switch to another.
Yesterday after Lydia laid her egg, she ran around our yard yelling her fool head off. I tried to distract her with some oats, to get her to stop cackling at top volume. I live in a neighborhood where the houses are very close together, and don't need to antagonize the neighbors. As soon as Lydia shut up, Harriet started to holler. Harriet was particularly agitated, strutting around the yard, marching in and out of the hen house, and announcing her complaints for all to hear. Bossy Anne Elliot was right behind her. Harriet would stomp into the hen house, fuss around for a while, and then plonk down in the nest box. Anne Elliot would hover around her, adding her voice to the chorus of dissent. Harriet would hunker down in the nest box, apparently sulking, and Anne Elliot would strut around inside the hen house, fussing away. This went on for ages. In and out of the hen house, up and down the yard, fussing all the time.
After a very long and very loud interval Harriet laid a lovely brown egg.
And Anne Elliot? Apparently she didn't actually need to lay an egg at all. She just needed to express her irritation at life's injustices.