Egg Laying Update

Of the six pullets (I call them my Literary Ladies), five are now laying. Twiggy, the White Leghorn, has been the star producer, creating six to seven bright white eggs per week. She started early and hasn’t stopped. Next to lay was Nancy Drew, the Black Star. She’s a hybrid and is supposed to be a prolific layer of brown eggs. So far, she’s had a bit of difficulty getting her system into sync. She’ll lay lovely, perfectly-formed eggs, and then take a break. Yesterday she laid a soft-shelled egg late in the day. Everyone else was on the roost. It’s rare for a hen to lay in the dark. Usually, the hen will hold it in until sunrise the next morning. My guess is that she’s not giving the shell enough time to form (it takes hours!) or perhaps her shell gland isn’t functioning properly yet. If Betsy sees a soft-shelled egg, she’ll eat it. Perhaps that’s why that pesky little bantam has been avidly watching the nesting boxes from the vantage point of the roost. If I keep an eye on the nesting boxes and collect eggs frequently, I should be able to limit that bad behavior.

The two Ameracaunas, Beatrix and Owly, have been laying such pretty eggs. Beatrix’s is a dusky olive-blue, and Owly’s is a shade more of a pure blue.

Misty, the Blue Andalusian (she’s supposed to be blue, but her feathers are black as an Australorp’s) has, for the last week, been squawking loudly. Her comb had a growth spurt, and now flops over like Twiggy’s cap. She laid an egg yesterday! It is ivory in color, it’s not as pure white as Twiggy’s so I can tell them apart.

The only one not laying is the Cuckoo Marans, Veronica. She’s fat. She’s sassy. She hasn’t ever even peeked into a nesting box. Her egg should be chocolate brown, and I’ll recognize it if she ever lays one. Marans are known to be late to mature, but at 25 weeks, I think it’s time. Veronica, however seems in no hurry.



left to right, eggs by: Nancy Drew, Misty, Twiggy, Owly, Beatrix


  1. Lovely! Even after years of egg-collecting, I still get that excited sort of ‘opening a present’ feeling when I find an egg (or three!) in the nest box.
    Enjoy your blue eggs, Terry! My Dorking X and Lavender Araucana are laying very spasmodically now. Just once in a while. So glad I used the egg blower you recommended when they were laying aplenty!

  2. I am on the waiting list to rehome some ex-battery hens, very excited! They wont ever lay blue ones but I dont mind, anything they lay will be great. Your hens are such good fun to watch.

  3. Nancy Drew seems to be having trouble solving `The mystery of the floppy egg`. Like her namesake, I am confident she will prevail in the end and have us anxiously waiting for her next adventure.

  4. I have a CM that just started laying a couple days ago! she’s at 23 weeks. her chocolate factory seems to have issues getting started, though, as her eggs haven’t particularly been chocolate, but more of a dip dye! ha! fat and sassy is definitely an accurate description for mine, too. funny how the breeds are so uniform!

  5. Oh Terry, I laughed so hard… “She’s fat…She’s sassy.” Terry, I was wondering, which of the girls is the most talkative/loudest among the Literary Ladies?

  6. I thought Owly’s eggs would be the ones with more color just because she has more dark pigment in her feathers. Poor Nancy, she climbed into the nesting box with Twiggy yesterday…she seemed in a big hurry but guess after sitting there she wasn’t ready and then laid at night. Betsy would not be sitting and minding the boxes if she was mine..she’d be out the door and in the goat pen. Her taste for eggs seems to have risen since she went broody. I’m hoping someone will step up and help me with 4 chicks in the spring. I’d like to have 2 white and 2 black…Siouxsie’s. It might just be a wish but I’m hanging on it.

    • Egg color has nothing to do with feather color, but the science of it is very interesting. I’ve written about it here. As far as Betsy – she doesn’t follow any rules. She’s actually in a full molt and not broody. She just likes to sit on eggs. She doesn’t break hard shells (too lazy) but takes advantage of the soft ones. She doesn’t like rabbits, but does like the goats. She was a very good school visit hen. She’s got a long history here! :)

  7. My first Marans did not lay until they were 7 months old. And I have 3 young marans that are only 3 months, so they are not laying, yet.

  8. My marans was very late to lay -27week. So hopefully Veronica will lay soon. Keep us posted.

  9. Your little white bantam leghorns seem to have developed a habit of you finding them coated in egg yolk. I know that happened at least once with Coco that summer she was alive. Have you ever had this problem with any other little bantam leghorns other than broody Coco and Betty Ross ?

    • Once a hen knows to look for soft eggs to eat, it becomes an almost impossible to break habit. Luckily, Betsy doesn’t break normal eggs. And, no, I don’t think this is a bantam issue, although the broody hens are the ones spending time in the nesting boxes, so they have more opportunity to develop the habit.

  10. Cute eggs! One of our hens (an orpington) finally started laying inside the nesting boxes, but she keeps laying in different boxes each time and we could not predict which box she would use for the day. Is this unusual? Also, another hen started laying today, but she took a liking to the yolk. I saw your blog about this before, so any ideas on how to stop this behavior? By the way, both of these hens are not loud talkers after they’ve done their duty. Thanks.

    • It’s absolutely normal for hens to lay in different boxes. The best thing to prevent egg eating is to have hard-shelled eggs. If all of your hens are laying soft eggs, adjust their diet. If it’s one new pullet, she’ll outgrow the problem.

  11. Last night I found a pile of little blue eggs in our temp coop which is much like your rabbit hutch. I guess the big hens were intimidating at least one easter egger from going into the big coop for some time. Well, I did not know how old they were so I put them far out into the field for the crows to eat, who often notify us when a hawk is coming. I closed up that little coopette and made everyone sleep together in the big coop last night for the first time. I went in about 3 a.m. (sleepless night) to check and everyone made it to a roost!

    • Given the opportunity, a hen will go off and lay in the coziest place possible. Looks like yours found the ideal spot (for awhile.) Those crows are smart birds and they’ll find a way to thank you for the treat.