When we got the new chooks last autumn they were point of lay but not yet laying, and the original crew (of 2) had stopped laying, probably due to moulting. Last year it seemed a very short amount of time they stopped laying but this year I think they took offence at the addition of 3 newcomers and have been sulking ever since.  So it had been a pretty barren winter for eggs until all that snow thawed when Ethel, one of our originals and always the best layer of enormous eggs, started laying again! She it Queen of the pecking order so I suppose it is to be expected she would be first. That was about a week ago, then, Saturday morning, there were TWO eggs!! Not only that, but one is a distinctly darker shade of terracota than we’ve seen before – conclusion: one of the new chooks is laying. Very excited household starts mad internet search to find out what colours might relate to what type of chicken. Apart from finding out that egg colour is genetically linked to earlobe colour (the darker the earlobe, the darker the eggshell… I think) I struggled to find a comprehensive list of breeds and their eggshell colour. The new hens are all different, a Black Rock,  Bluebell and a Sussex Star and without doing anything remotely logical (like inspecting their earlobes) I’ve concluded its my Courtney the Black Rock that has started. But, I reserve the right to amend that judgement based on future observations! Maybe by next weekend, another will started laying…

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