Friday, January 13, 2012

First Egg of the Year

Last year, I was a chicken failure . I previously posted about my two hens in my post entitled Chicken Run . Chocolate (the runaway chicken) after a day or two of coming back to the coop decided she was a wild chicken. She hid in the cedar trees for about a month. I'd occasionally catch a glimpse of her when she'd come to clean up the grain from under the horse feeders, and then finally we saw her no more. I lost my other hen in the intense heat of July.

That left me with the one chick I hatched out in May -but as fate would have it, she became a he, so I had a Brahma rooster with no girls.

Sydney the Brahma Rooster

A friend of mine had some excess young ducks at the time and being the enabler she is, pawned a pair off on me. Welcome Harriet and Carter.

Harriet & Carter

I then purchased another hen from fellow North Texas blogger the "Modern Day Redneck" a pretty Brahma/Orpington cross. One day while I was working I heard a big ruckus, a looked out my office window, and around the corner of the yard came Harriet and Carter a squawking followed by the Rooster but no hen. I went outside to see what was going on, but there was nothing, except one thing was wrong -the hen was missing. I went back to where the birds free range every day, but there was no sign of the hen. She had vanished. I don't know if a stealthy coyote had sneaked up in the middle of the day and snatched her or if her attacker came from above. She was gone without a trace.

With no hens and winter coming I placed an ad on Craigslist for my rooster and happily someone wanted a breeding rooster, and so he was rehomed.

That left me with the two ducks Harriet and Carter. They were supposed to be a pair but I'm pretty sure I have two females. When they hit five months of age back in November, I was hoping they might start laying. I'd read threads over at Backyardchickens each day of peoples ducks laying their first eggs, but every day I checked my ducks, there were no eggs. My welfare chickens must have rubbed off on the ducks.

With the days now getting a little longer each day, I"ve been on a mission to get these ducks to lay. I've been encouraging them with alfalfa in their nesting box, feeding them freshly picked Dandelions, treats from the house, and adding laying pellets to their grain. Each day I look in the tractor and in their yard, no eggs, that is until today.

Hubby came in this evening and said give me your hand. I did as I was told and in it he put a nice creamy egg. Yippee, our first duck egg. I am so excited you'd think that I had the goose that laid the golden egg!

The "Golden" Egg (I guess I should have cleaned it better for it's moment of glory)

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