Well it's winter here, or just about, so I figured that my hens were taking a break. They don't like the short day length and to be honest, neither do I! They were laying maybe 3 eggs a day, and I was happy with that. I have a lot of young hens who aren't laying yet, and a lot of old hens who probably aren't laying any more. So, my red stars just kept laying, and I collected my 1 to 3 eggs each day and felt like it was their break time, and goodness knows they need a break!
So yesterday I was out in the coop, looking for eggs, and I heard some soft clucking noises, and yet nobody was in the nest boxes. I looked around....nobody on the perches, nobody in the doorway, nobody to be seen! I did my little chicken voice: "Where's my little hen then? Who is hiding in the coop?" and gentle clucking resumed. I was stymied. What was going on? Eventually, I realized that the sound was coming from very low down, so I got down onto the wood shavings and straw, and realized that my very industrious and sneaky hens had actually created a hollowed out area UNDER the nesting boxes that we built.
So, I put my hand under and pulled out an egg, and another, and another....and ended up with 13 eggs! All pulled out from under the nest boxes. I had to candle them all to check for development, and also do the float test. They were all fine and fresh (it's cold enough outside to be equivalent to a fridge!). So now I am wise to their little plot, and will keep an eye on their secret stash. Had a great omelette last night though!