Here's your laugh of the day, folks. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture, since I was too embarassed to walk back out to the coop.
A friend of one of my sisters is a teacher and wanted to buy some hatching eggs for a class project. I kind of dithered a little bit--after all, it's winter and egg production is down. I was hoping to wait for slightly warmer weather so more of the girls would be in production. After all, I'm pretty sure all of them are bred. Stewie is the most likely father, but Trouble manages to get him some too.
I installed some lovely new nest boxes when I put the chooks in the coop, since the old ones were mostly rusted out on the bottoms. Even so, I checked each corner of the coop, and even out in the run to make sure that I got all those wonderful eggs. Well, since I never found any in places other than the nest boxes, I got a little lazy. I'd check the boxes, check the crates, maybe look around in the yard occasionally, but apparently I wasn't as thorough as I need to be.
Like I said, egg production has been down due to winter's cold temps and shorter daylight. I'm still out in the coop several times a day, and today I cast my eyes at a corner. Mind you, this is the corner just behind the indoor dust bath (for those rainy days when they all want to stay inside). What did I see? Was that an egg? No. It was FIVE eggs. Goodness only knows how I missed them for the last five days (since they all have the same color and shape, and I'm assuming are probably laid by the same hen). Heaven only knows which hen it is, since I've never seen one sitting there.
So I felt pretty stupid. Then I got paranoid. What else are they hiding from me? Are they organized? EEK! Then there's the problem of storing the eggs at the right temperature to get a good hatch. Yikes! Where's the cooler? Where's the dang snake that's in the basement and is this cooler going to keep him out? AAAAAAARGH! Do these incubators work? How? (I got them as a gift from a friend, but without instruction manuals!!!) Thank goodness it's been fairly warm lately and I don't think any of them have frozen. Thank goodness nobody got the egg eating bug. They're even all nice and clean.
So I guess I'll just keep all the eggs that get laid in the next few days and let this nice teacher do her project (since I've heard that after 10 days, hatchability declines). I hope she sends me pictures of my "grandchicks" and I hope that her students want to keep them. Maybe tomorrow I'll remember to check the corners.