Thursday, March 20, 2014

Alma's Science Fair Egg Experiment

Remember the Science Fair?  Remember watching or participating in events like Build a Boat Out of Ping Pong Balls or Grow Beans in Microwaved Water vs Plain Tap?  It seems I have a chicken who has entered herself in her own Science Fair.

First, in egg laying, all chickens are not created equal.  Some are big egg layers. Some are loud egg layers and some, like my two Wyandottes, are not "straight to the nesting box" kind of gals.  The first Wyandotte to lay, Elsie, would lay her eggs in the dog house.  It only took me about four days to figure that out and redirect her to a safer spot, the nesting box.  She took to it right away once it was pointed out.

Next, meet Alma.  Alma is one of our Blue Laced Red Wyandottes and she is almost a year old. Alma is a very special chicken.  Alma is a student of physics whose goal is to successfully lay and egg from the highest point in the coop without breaking.  It would be quite the feat and this little girl  is up for the challenge.

Over the course of two weeks we would periodically find an egg inside the coop, broken and outside the nesting box.  My first thought was an angry chicken kicked it out as part of a "pecking order" protest.  But it kept happening.  Day after day of broken egg.  Then a Saturday rolled around and I was able to observe who was laying and when.  One by one the ladies took their turns in the nesting boxes until Alma was ready to lay.  In to the coop she went.  Then back out.  Then back in. In and out for several rounds of confusion until in she went and stayed.  After a few moments I heard it.  The awkward flapping and stumble of a chicken going to bed.  Going to bed?  Its 2 in the afternoon!  I carefully peek in the coop and there she is, Alma on high.  

Alma, preparing to lay an egg from the highest roost in the coop.
Much to our amazement, Alma manages to not only lay her egg but she drops it from about three feet and it lands successfully in the crevice between the coop door and floor.  Please forgive the chicken pooh splotches.  It is life in the coop. 
Seriously?  How did she do this?

The ledge egg, unbroken.  Rather amazing
Who lays an egg, drops it three feet and has it land exactly in this two inch gap?  Alma really needs to play MouseTrap.  (Yeah, I'm dating myself here)

A few days later, she inches closer to the mark.  And, I get smart and line the coop floor with several inches of shavings to "break" the fall of our precious egg.
We seem to be getting closer to the mark.
Alma ended up proving her point.  She could lay an egg where ever and when ever she wanted.  We are very grateful that she decided the nesting box was good enough....for now.

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