I had a little scare the other morning. I went out to let my hens out for their coop and counted only three girls rather than the usual four. I looked around the small coop and still no fourth chicken! Then I remembered how they used to crawl under the tray I keep under the roost when they had been molting to get down into the bedding and stay a little warmer. So I got down on all fours and squinted into the darkness under the perch.
Sure enough, the naughty was under there as far to the back and outside as she could get—sitting like a miniature Thanksgiving turkey, staring at me placidly, and making little singing hen noises. I was relieved to see that she was okay but frustrated when I realized that she had been sitting on the four eggs for which I’d been searching for the past three days.
I felt a little silly because I was really starting to worry that one of the girls was getting egg bound or that I had some egg-eaters! After several days of taking the tray out of the roost so I could tip it forward to get at the eggs underneath, I was just about done with my broody biddies’ egg laying shenanigans!
I finally had to ask my husband to nail some board across the openings under the perch. As a result, the girls are using their nesting boxes again, but I’m still keeping an eye on out-of-the-way corners! Begonia