The Colors of Seven

Feb 15, 2011 | 1 comment

Blues and Brown

     We think that our two youngest girls have begun to lay, though it’s hard to tell with hens.  Some hens do cackle and carry on after depositing an egg in a nest box, but they aren’t consistently braggadocious.  And you have to be there in order to tell which of them has just exited the coop and is telling the world of her accomplishment.
     So, you need to be a bit of sleuth with hens.  We have seven of them now, and we are waiting for the day when we collect seven eggs.  Then we will know for sure that they are all earning their keep.  But until a bit later in the year when the daylight hours are longer and less gray, that probably won’t happen.  Hens are choosy about the laying season.
     The other hen house mystery concerns egg color.  Of the five oldest girls, four lay brown eggs and one lays sky-blue eggs.  She is an araucana and proud of it.  The two new hens definitely came from araucana stock – that is, they came from blue eggs.  But we don’t know much about their paternity.  They look a bit araucana-ish; we’ve been waiting to see the color of their eggs.
     Yesterday Nyel found two blue eggs (along with one brown) in the nest boxes.  Ah ha!  One blue was considerably smaller than the other and we’re assuming it’s from one of the young girls.  (It usually takes a few months of practice before a hen produces a standard-sized egg.)  But, of course, we don’t know which of the two ‘new’ girls was responsible.
     When that magic day comes that all seven present us with eggs, will there be four brown and three blue?  Or five brown and two blue?  Or is it possible that one of the part-araucanas could lay a brown egg one day and a blue egg the next?  It’s hard to tell with hens.

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Is brown dominant over blue if the hens are heterozygous? Isn’t nature facinating.

    Reply

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