Friday afternoon I came home from work early, and spent some time with my family before the weekend (around here, weekends mean two 12 hour shifts for my husband, so very little family time). After Little M's nap, we headed outside. First I went over to the chicken coop to give them some food and see how they were doing.
I was leaning over in the coop, giving them some food, and I was thinking about how the white golf balls I've had out in their nest boxes, to encourage them to lay, and lay in the right spot, were going to look rather odd next to a brown egg, since most of our hens will lay brown eggs. As I straightened up, my gaze passed across a spot on the far wall that had been hidden by chicken bodies moments before as they rushed to the food. I did a double take. A pale brown egg was sitting there, on the floor, amidst the chicken feet as they rushed by it here and there. I quickly went further in to the coop and picked it up. It was a bit dirty, but whole!
These darn chickens should (could) have been laying at least a month ago, if not two. We weren't supplementing with light or heat, though, wanting them to make it on their own to weed out any breeds (we've been trying 8) that weren't able to take the cold temperatures we get here in the winter. So although I've been not-so-patiently waiting for quite some time, I knew they would start laying once the days started to lengthen. I've been saying 'any day now', for weeks!
I wish I knew which of our thirteen girls it was laying already, but since 12 of those are brown egg layers, I suspect I'll need a few more eggs to see the range of color variations to start pegging eggs to girls, if it's even possible then! At least the Americauna girl's eggs will be easy to tell apart, and hopefully that will make it easy to selectively incubate them if any of our hens go broody, since Rooster Cogburn is also an Americauna, so that is the one breed we have that we could possibly get pure-bred offspring from this year.
Oh Spring, I'm so happy you are on your way!
(Of course, within an hour of finding that egg, the snow started, and by bedtime we were up to 4 inches of damp new fluffy snow!)