A mixed blessing: Venus is back laying

August 24, 2009 § Leave a comment

Actually she’s been back since the 11th, but with Venus you don’t want to speak too soon. She is the queen of strange laying behaviour, popping out shell-less eggs with monotonous regularity at times. And indeed the first egg she laid this month seems to have been a thin-shelled ‘involuntary overnight emission’ (as we call eggs that chooks lay from the perch while roosting – thankfully an infrequent occurrence). Somebody trod on it in the rush to get out in the morning, but enough was recovered to weigh it (68 g), so it counts! 

She used to be a black hen...

She used to be a black hen...

Now she’s up to 10 eggs laid, including one thin-shelled one that was too smashed up to be weighed. The rest have been pretty good ‘normal’ eggs. Normal for Venus means perfectly symmetrical – no blunt or pointed ends. Both ends have exactly the same curvature. You’re supposed to store eggs with the blunt end up (this is where the air sac is), but with Venus we just have to guess…

And the mixed blessing? Well, there’s a lot of cackling and false alarms when Venus gets back into laying. She’s a big girl with a loud voice, and plenty of stamina. On the Sunday before she started laying (the 9th) she cackled on and off (more on than off) for the whole afternoon, and more of the same on Monday too. It has an effect on you that is reminiscent of the barking of a bored, chained up dog, or a teething baby.

By the way, as you can see from the recent pic on this page, her colour change from black to white has continued with the recent moult. Her sister Ella is still solidly black.

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