My photo
I ran away from teaching to the country to grow veggies. There are also some chooks and a pair of troublesome goats who were so much trouble they had to go! My simple green life isn't always as simple or as green as I'd like...but I keep trying!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Style conscious hens

Anyone who spends any time in the company of chooks
quickly becomes fascinated by their social habits.

The goings on between them
over food, and position is an endless source
of interest and often humour.

My friend Vera pecks me on the leg
until I pick her up for a bit of loving.

The coop is kept shut to stop certain goats
from gorging on chicken pellets.  I have told 
them over and over, that the bag says it is
not for ruminants...but they just don't listen.

So Heckle, Jeckle, and Hortense, who prefer to lay
their eggs in the afternoon, clearly communicate
their desire for me to open the coop for them.

When they see me they call me and run
backwards and forwards 
between me and the coop
until I open the door.
They don't stop for a sip or a nibble
but run for the nest box and settle in
with an almost audible sigh!

All the best info on happy chickens
say that one nest box between 
four or five hens is appropriate.  
Accordingly, with nine hens I have
two nest boxes.

this is the sight that greets me everyday.

I have shifted the two boxes around.
I have scrubbed them both and added the same straw.
But the girls all seem to prefer the orange mower catcher
over the black one.  

I have seen four of them at once, 
trying to use the orange one, while the black one
remains empty.

I even find the odd egg on the coup floor.
Obviously they would rather lay in public
than use the black nesting box.

Do your girls have a 
favourite nest box...
and is it coloured?


  1. When I had chickens I used to love to "hang out" in the coop with them for a bit each day. They were such a sweet group of ladies. I had wooden boxes, so I am not sure why they don't like that black one.

  2. I have a couple of mower boxes, but the girls seem to prefer the built-in wooden ones... and yes, one in particular. Funny isn't it? Personally, I think the mower boxes are excellent, and maybe they just like orange. cheers Wendy

  3. Perhaps you could redecorate the orange one?
    Love your header photo- Australia has so so much green and gold with a splash of purple and red. Could be an inspiration for the girls nesting box. HDW

  4. Well, well the endless fascination of chook behaviour! My house has two wooden boxes built in to the side with an easy access lid outside. They'd rather lay in the far corner on the straw.Birds often like communal laying so it might be that rather than the box colour.My Godson wrote their names over the boxes in his chook house. Did they abide by that, did they heck!

  5. Our girls have a favourite box although there are six to chose from. The boxes are all the same colour (white), size etc, so I presume that once one lays an egg the rest follow :)

  6. I love the idea of the mowers catchers....
    I wonder what would happen if you just swapped the two boxes around???

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  8. yes ours prefer the on the end but i have popped fake eggs in the other nesting boxes making them attractive to them and they fall for it

  9. I love your header too. My chooks rotate their favourite. One of my chooks is always broody so the rest lay in the vacant one. At the moment it is Golden Girl. She's been in there for weeks and i know I should move her on. But between house renovations and chasing the rest of the chooks out of my veggie patch I can't find the energy.

  10. I don't have any chooks (yet) but these ladies sound totally fascinating. I'm sure many hours could be consumed watching their antics. Who needs television when you have chooks.

  11. Hens have sooooooo much personality. I love them too! Love the names you have for your girls too!

  12. This is a gorgeous post and I love how you have picked up on all the quirky characteristics of your hens. Our like to hang out in their same breed groups!

  13. We've got two wooden nest boxes but they all lay in the same box. Two of them went broody and I would go in and see the other hen sat on top of them to lay her egg! I tried moving them into the other box to be out of the way but they kept going back. Funnily enough they've all decided to use the other box now.


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