I take back all the mean things I’ve said about Lucy.
When you think about how close the chicken coop is to a boiling pot on the stove, it’s almost a Christmas miracle that Lucy hasn’t ended up in a casserole. But Lucy’s story, luckily, is one of redemption.
I’m a sucker for the underdog or, in this case, the under-chicken. And when I noticed that Lucy was isolated from the rest of the flock during the nightly who-rules-the-roost-in-the-coop pecking order competition, my irritation with her began to soften. Several nights in a row I found Lucy marooned on the nesting box counter while the rest of the flock preened over on the roosts. At first I thought it was just another dumb-Lucy antic, but when I put her back with the rest of the ladies, I saw that they immediately reached over to peck at her.
So I conducted a brief experiment in social engineering. Every time another hen would reach over to peck at Lucy, I gave that hen a smart little smack upside the head. Three or four of those seemed to do the trick, and after a few evenings of hen relationship intervention (as I’ve said before, other people have lives, I have chickens…) things have seemed to settle down and Lucy has found a spot on the roost.
Lucy seems a bit less skittish, too. I’d like to think she appreciates my hen-smacking efforts on her behalf, but the more likely answer is maturity. (On her part, not mine, since we all know that just because I’m getting old does not mean I will ever grow up, right?) Yesterday, Lucy proved to the world that she is all grown up: while I was cleaning the coop, she hopped up on the nest and laid her first egg!
Lucy’s egg is creamy beige and very similar to those that Hope lays. It will be hard to tell them apart.
She is right at the 27-week mark in age – just past six months – which is probably around the average time for point of lay. Tulip and Coco were just five months when they began laying; no sign of eggs yet from Luna or Pippa. According to Wikipedia, we can expect approximately 240 to 260 eggs a year from Lucy. That’s a lot of breakfasts!