Contact Me

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Thelma 's Groove

(no pictures thanks to whatever has my computer and Picasa in its grip.)

Apparently, Thelma will be contributing to the economy around here once again. After months of barely giving me an egg each month, she decided she would lay again. In the last two weeks, she surprised me by laying day after day. Okay, sometimes she just lays every other day. She is not a regular in her comeback.

The first time I found two eggs snuggled in the Rubbermaid laying box a few days ago, my heart melted. I thought that five-year-old Thelma had finally quit laying. But, no, she lays when there is single digit weather at night and 10 F in the day. She laid during the period of 70 hours of sub-freezing weather.

Four eggs each week from her and six from Patsy Cline means I don't have to ration the eggs I eat. Even seven eggs total sure beats the one egg per week I got for a while!

My frozen eggs got me through the winter even though I did not use all I froze. The day will come when I do need them, I am quite sure.

Right now, we are having 13 hours of dark and 11 hours of daylight. I suppose the light is sufficient for both hens to lay more eggs for me. Well, I appropriate the eggs. They don't decide they will give Linda a present or a thrill and drop eggs.

As I have gathered eggs for over four years, I ponder one thing. Do they feel any sense of accomplishment as they push the egg out? Or is it like a bowel movement we have, just a relief and something that must be done?

I have read that their egg song is not an announcement, just a call to find the other hens. When the hen sat to lay, the other jungle fowl might wander away. The thinking is that the hens still call out for their companions even though their may be a coop full of hens nearby. The commotion they cause with their song certainly brings me running when they just don't hush after five minutes.

Your turn
Do you ever ponder a hen's feelings or motivation when an egg is left in the nest? I know. That is a lot of anthropomorphizing to lay onto a hen.  Have your hens started laying more as winter winds down?


  1. I admit I have never pondered the thoughts of a hen. I often feel that I know exactly what my dogs are thinking and would say if they could.


    1. Janie,
      Then you understand and talk for them? I talk for my hens, too.

    2. Oh, yes, I talk for the dogs all the time, especially when Willy Dunne Wooters is here. They talk to him a lot, and I translate.

    3. Janie,
      I translate lots for exbf. He is charmed when they come to him and talk. He likes what I translate for him.

  2. I've never been around hens, but we had a Siamese cat growing up who seemed to do his best to mimic our English at times. If someone said "hello" to him, his answer sounded very much like "mrello." Mom used to argue with him: "Get off the table." "Mrrrow." "I said, get off the table!" "MMMMrrrow."

    I would probably have assumed a hen's egg song would be similar to a woman's screams in labor, which I have (fortunately, I think) only heard on T.V.

    1. jess,
      I do think some animals try to mimic human talk and understand what is said. A hen gets off the nest after laying an egg and sings her egg song. She concentrates very much during her "labor" and has a relieved expression The egg song is more joyful than screams in labor. I always think she wants everyone to come look. After five minutes, sometimes longer, I rush out to keep them from annoying the neighbors. Just my appearance causes her to stop. I suppose I am the flock she lost.

  3. I didn't know that eggs could be frozen--at least not if you wanted to ever use them.

  4. Snowbrush,
    I take two eggs, beat, freeze in a four ounce Ball canning/freezing jar. There is no difference in frozen or fresh. I do not freeze eggs in the shell. If I want to freeze five eggs for a pound cake, I put those in a half-pint Ball jar.

    Into the jar with two eggs, you can put a 1/4 tsp of sugar or salt, depending on how they will be used. Or, you can freeze them plain.

    Does this explain it?

  5. You can take the girl out of the jungle, but you can't take the jungle out of the girl. :-) I didn't know that was why hens clucked after laying and egg! Way to go Thelma!

    1. Sue,
      Funny! Well, that is a theory I read. She is a good girl.

  6. We let our hens rest for the Winter. They stop laying when it gets cold in November, and start again when there is enough light, usually starting in March or April. Some of my neighbors place a light inside their chicken's coop and their hens lay all year. However, my hens live longer with the Winter rest, so I am happy to buy a couple of dozen in the darkest part of Winter.
    I don't worry much about how they regard laying eggs. Every once in a while one clucks a great deal, as if in pain when laying an egg. This concerns me a great deal. I watch for retained eggs very carefully. I did lose one girl to a retained and then broken egg.

    1. Jane,
      I do not to stop them and nothing to do to force them to lay. They only had two weeks they slowed down and two weeks they quit entirely.

      Mine never make a sound when laying. I wonder. ???

      I never thought one was in pain since they always are as soon as I or another comes around. They get quite frantic when they sing and no one comes.

      It is traumatic to lose a hen.

    2. I meant they are always quiet as soon as I or another hen comes around. That was just gibberish I wrote.


For the present, I am taking comment moderation off the blog.