The hens lay their eggs in the morning and most of them lay between 8 and 10. Often after a hen lays an egg, she calls and clucks in a specific way. You can probably imagine that it can get pretty noisy around the henhouse in the morning with all the egg-laying announcements.
It seems every year we have a hen who distinguishes herself from the flock. This year we have two. We call them (rather randomly and interchangeably) Stella and Harriot.
It seems that they just don’t like to be with everyone else — maybe it is just too loud. First thing in the morning, they figure out a way to get over or under the electric fence and head off on their own.
Stella (Harriot?) heads off rather leisurely toward the cow barn where she lays her egg in some of the leftover hay from the winter pile of bales. Harriot (Stella?) has recently moved her egg-laying space and we have yet to discover it.
After they lay their egg in their own private and quiet spot, they wander around the yard and greenhouses and scratch and pick, as chickens do. So far, they have been pretty good and have not gotten into any of the vegetables. In the past we have been able to tolerate one or two renegade hens without trouble in the fields or greenhouses.
We recently moved the main flock in their portable henhouse out toward the pond, far away from Stella and Harriot’s current range. They used to return to the hen house at night but now it is just too far for a regular chicken commute and I think they find somewhere else to roost at night.
No doubt, when you come to visit the farm you will run into our two roaming hens . . . just remember their names . . . Stella and Harriot.