Life's Little Details: Knitting, Sewing, Green Living, Frugal Living and Cooking In A Little Corner of Southern French Countryside.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Wanted: Private Chick

What on earth does that title mean? Well, it's short for Private Chicken Detective, and that's what we needed around here. That, or a really thorough chicken stalker. Know any? Want to apply for the job? We need someone to follow the chickens around and figure out where they're hiding their eggs.

The first few days, they laid them in the coop. No problem. All you have to do is sift through the hay, and you've got yourself a tasty omelette or even a fancy soufflé. But, someone (okay, okay, it was me) had the bright idea of actually giving them a full coop of nice, brand spankin'new, squeaky clean hay. And, of course, they now refuse to lay in it. Sure, they've dirtied the new hay since, but now that they found a substitute place to hide their eggs, and they see that no one steals them, they don't lay in the coop anymore.

At first, I thought they were on strike. These are French chickens, after all. They often do that when they're molting, and given the season changes recently, it's entirely possible that they'd be changing feathers. I've waited and watched, though, and now I'm not too sure.

I think they've gotten smart and started a hidden stash spot. I see that only five of the chickens are roaming around most of the day. Then, today, when I saw the sixth one out, I noticed that her butt was dirtier than the rest, which makes me think she must be sitting a lot (we won't go into details on that). I remember with the last set of chickens we had that there's usually one whose job seems to be to sit on the eggs most of the time. There's no rooster, so there's not much point in her sitting on them, but she doesn't know that. Instinct is a funny thing, ain't it? So, the trick now is to hunt the girl down and find out where she hangs out all day.

The area they roam is pretty large, and since it's full of thorny bushes and other places I can't go, I'm wondering if we'll ever have fresh eggs again. So, does anyone know what typical chicken hiding places are? I'd love to know. I've looked under cars and other objects of that sort, but I haven't found anything yet. Ask yourself, if you were a chicken, where would you stash your goods? If you come up with something good, please do share.