My senior under-gardeners are 5 years old, they came to live in our garden in March 2007 and at the beginning of April Phoebe was the first of our flock to lay an egg.
Phoebe is a Coucou Marans hybrid (Marans x Rhode Island Red) and she has the most perfect tail shape – she can manoeuvre it like a rudder. Her feathers are luxuriously smooth like an expensive silk twill scarf, and she has thick downy underwear – most practical on a day like today!
I estimate that Phoebe has laid about 200 eggs each year, so that means she has produced 1000 eggs! I didn't mind at all when late last October she stopped laying because she was moulting – she does this dramatically . . . one day one or two feathers fall out, the next day she shakes herself and stands there almost naked!!! I wouldn't have minded it she never laid another egg, we will care for her for as long as she wants to enjoy life fossicking around our garden. We've got to know her funny little ways – she spends ages laying her eggs, really taking her time and she hates any food that is sticky like plums or porridge or boiled potatoes.
Today Phoebe laid her first egg in 2012 . . .
. . . a beautiful brown egg just like her first one in 2007.