Lesson 1050 – Marble eggs and flashlights

A little bit of retraining is in order. For all of us.

Remember a few posts back I talked about how our free ranging hens wouldn’t hide their eggs but would lay them in very obvious places (like our horse buckets)? It made life easy, we simply walked around to the 2 or 3 favorite spots and picked up our eggs.

Well, this summer the flock has discovered an area *under* the hen house that we had built into the design for storage. It’s low, dark, and deep.

The perfect place to lay an egg.

Every day the flock was out, we would have to get on our bellies and use a small rake in order to get at those eggs. It wasn’t that big of a deal and something we decided to put up with for the girls. If they wanted privacy when laying an egg, that was okay with us.

Until the day I went out to the henhouse in the morning and saw this. When I counted the flock, I realized that our little black frizzle was gone. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out what happened.


When night came, our sweet, little frizzle moved to the back of the storage area where no one could see her. All the chickens were thought to be in the coop and the door was locked for the night. She ended up spending the night outside the coop and when your coop faces some deep woods – that’s not a good situation.

I don’t blame anyone for this, just as I don’t blame anyone (other than myself) for Violet. Chicken owning is a constant series of lessons. We didn’t know what we needed to know. Now we do.

I figure we need to do a little retraining on all fronts.

First – I’ve put some marble eggs outside in an area where the hens used to lay their eggs. We’ll see, if like a proverbial worm on a hook, it entices them to return to their original nesting spot.


Second – a flashlight is now mandatory equipment when putting away the chickens. Although the flock returns to the coop by themselves as soon as dusk falls, our routine now includes a sweep of all dark and recessed areas.

From now on, we’re not going to take any chances.


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.

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3 responses to “Lesson 1050 – Marble eggs and flashlights

  1. Sorry for your loss. My old chickens had started laying under the coup once so we ended up blocking it with wire fencing. It was too hard to find the eggs and just like you I was worried one of them would be forgotten under there at night.

  2. Suddenly Jamie (@suddenlyjamie)

    😦 So sorry. Nature can be cruel. Lucky for your flock, you guys are on the ball and – like you said in your tweet – “never again.”

  3. Cathy

    Do you think that means predators check your coop every single night?

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