Florence has been laying eggs since August and I was beginning to wonder what the hold-up was with Maude. I raised them both from chicks, so they are the same age. Maude is a Brahma and Florence is a Rhode Island Red. Not sure if it’s a breed thing, but Maude waited until she was seven months old to start laying eggs. We got our first ones this week!

The chickens were granted free-range of the garden for August and September. Although late in the season, they still managed to do some serious damage. They ate all the foliage off my many bean plants and swiss chard. The benefit though was having three little garden workers adding fertilizer, tilling the soil, and keeping the slug population at bay.

It’s getting cold here in Portland recently. For some reason they prefer to hover under our back porch rather than chill in their cozy, dry coop during the rains, so I have just decided to force them to stay in the coop. It’s warmer and safer for them. Plus, Maude’s first couple eggs were laid right outside the coop door. I don’t want her to get into the habit of laying anywhere other than the nesting box.

Her eggs are almost the same color as Florence’s eggs. After previously having three Araucanas that laid pink and blue-green eggs, plain brown eggs don’t seem as exciting. Maude’s first couple were very small too (in the picture above), but I think they will get bigger. Florence has gotten in the habit of taking a day off every other week and then laying a double-yoked egg the following day! Those eggs are gigantic! See the comparison below.

And our dear Pearl and her mysterious gender crisis this summer… Well, I do hear an occasional crow outside, but it’s maybe one crow every week or two. Still no more eggs from this girl since the gender crisis began, so I think she is officially retired. She has earned a nice long rest where she can live out her remaining years in peace while the two younger chicks carry the egg-laying load.

Such funny little animals with their own quirks and oddities. They fit right in at our house.

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