No, the baby has been quite compliant this year so far. Instead, our biggest distraction has been our chickens! They like to come to our front door and peck at it to get our attention. If we are working in our school room in the basement, they actually peer in our basement window at us!
In addition, we began getting our first eggs this week. Elsa, the biggest barred rock, laid us a perfect little egg around lunch time on Monday.
|Just a tiny egg - they will get bigger, though|
Amazingly, Rosie, one of our black australorps, also laid her first egg on Monday afternoon. She came to the front door squawking anxiously at me, but then ran back to the woods. When I went for my run a little later, she was hanging out alone by the coop. I talked to her softly and showed her the fake eggs in the nest boxes, and she climbed in to inspect them. By the end of my run, she came running out of the coop, leaving a tiny egg in the nest box behind her.
On Tuesday, we only got one egg, but Wednesday through Friday, we got two eggs each day. Now, the kids are obsessed with checking for eggs, which would cause enough of a distraction by itself. However, the hens cause an even bigger distraction with the ruckus they make every time they lay. I had heard of the egg song, but I had no idea just how loudly those hens could sing. We can often hear them squawking in the coop, while we are working down in the basement.
Adding to the noise, Rosie and Elsa had quite the battle over the favored nest box. Elsa has staked her claim on the nest box in the darkest corner, and she will often lay in there for an hour before she gets around to depositing her egg. However, Rosie prefers this box too. On Tuesday, Rosie ended up not laying because Elsa refused to vacate the box. On Wednesday, we spent the day at Cedar Point and left the chickens in the coop all day. Both hens somehow managed to lay in the same box, so I assumed they had worked out their dispute. I was wrong.
On Thursday, we heard such a disturbance that we rushed out to make sure nothing was attacking the flock. We found Elsa in the nest box with Rosie yelling at her frantically at the top of her lungs. We came back inside, only to hear the egg song a moment later. Thinking Elsa had finally finished, the kids went out to check, but Elsa was still in the nest box, working on her egg. Rosie, on the other hand, had finally given up and laid her egg in a neighboring box. Silly hens! We have six nest boxes and six hens, and yet, they fight over the same box!
With all the noise and distractions, I have to fight with the chickens to keep my kids’ attention on their school work. On a positive note, though, they are learning quite a bit about chickens and where food comes from. As I was making dinner yesterday, Ben asked me if I was going to use chicken eggs or store-bought eggs in my recipe. He realized his mistake immediately, and we both laughed. Before this year, however, eggs only came from the store. Now, through the crazy distraction of our little flock of happy hens, our kids know the joy of getting their breakfast straight from its source. And, I suppose, that is part of a good education as well.