Thursday, April 17, 2014

The First Easter Egg Hunt

Since many of you will be trekking out with your kiddos to search for hidden eggs soon, you might be pondering who came up with the original Easter Egg Hunt anyway?

Ask any farmer's wife.

She knows.

Because there's always that one hen . . .

who doesn't lay her eggs in the hen house, or in the nesting box, like she's supposed to.

No, this errant hen always leads the farmer's wife (or the farmer's kids) on a wild-goose chase all over the farm - into the bushes, underneath piles of wood, back behind the barn, into the darndest places where she's hidden her eggs safely away.

Why do they do this!!??!!

Well, their self-preservation instinct tells them to hide their eggs from predators, and also, they are trying to gather enough eggs in a nest so that they can set on them for three weeks, and hatch baby chickies!

After pulling my hair out searching for our hen Dory's eggs (pictured above) and cutting back blackberries to get to the nest, crawling on hands and knees trying to find them (they won't hatch, we don't have a rooster) I finally resort to watching the sneaky little thing, while she skedaddles off to her hidden nest to lay. She is very smart, though, and hard to catch. *sigh*

Then there are the good hens . . .

who lay their eggs in the nest box. And who want to raise babies so bad that they set on one or two of the eggs immediately, and set there, and set. And since the farmer's wife (that's me) took pity on her, and knew the eggs would never hatch, she went to the feed store and bought four tiny, just hatched baby chicks, and snuck them underneath Elizabeth in the dead of night (removing the infertile eggs.) Lo and behold, by morning we had a new family, with the good hen Elizabeth clucking away to her newly adopted children. Meet Elizabeth's new children: Josephine, Henrietta, Cindy, and Sally (on mama hen's back.)

Now, I'm off on my own Easter egg hunt, searching for my renegade hen's eggs.

Where did Dory lay them this time??


Patricia said...

What a kind thing of you to do - buying chicks for your poor little baby hen. That's too cute.

Linda Benson said...

It's actually an easy way to get new chickens, Patti - and the hen teaches them things, like the fact that hawks and cats are dangerous.

My rascally hen Dory, though, stills leads us all over the yard. Yesterday we found her nest with 4 eggs in it (2 of hers and 2 of another hen) under a big butterfly bush.