Our little white bird named Angel is not so angelic after all. This rogue hen escapes the chicken pen every day and sneaks off, going somewhere else to lay her eggs. Since she doesn't show up until late in the afternoon, we assume she also forages for a good part of the day. By the time we discover her, she is leisurely walking along the fence line, pecking at bugs and looking for a way to get back into the chicken run.
Why does she find it necessary to escape? There is plenty of food every day, including a big bucket of garden scraps most days. It's not like she has crowded conditions to live in or anything neglectful like that. Our 11 chickens and 6 ducks have an abundant 5,000 square foot chicken run to play in, with both sunny areas for sun bathing and shade from the massive maple tree to cool off. They also have 300 square feet of enclosed chicken coop with multiple roosts and a dozen nests so that every hen could have her own spot if she so desired. There is plenty of water and feed. Despite all that, our little Angel still finds it necessary to escape each day.
We once found her up on the roof of the chicken coop. I was horrified, as she stood out like a waving white flag for the bald eagles flying overhead. That's why we are so worried about keeping our hens contained, as there are many bald eagles around here who love to eat chickens.
We hadn't had any green eggs from Angel for several weeks and so I finally went searching to see where she might be laying them. There is her egg pile, hidden in the weeds outside the fence of the chicken run.
You can't see too well from the photo, but I went deeper into the nest and counted 16 eggs. That's at least half a month of eggs in this spot. Some of those eggs are now stink bombs, sitting there fermenting in the summer heat. What should I do with them???
As I think about it, the word REVENGE flits through my mind, as if a little devil sitting on my shoulder whispered it to me. But no, I could never do that. Toss a rotten egg? No, not even at the house of the mean neighbor behind us whose robber bees recently killed ours and who showed no sympathy at all when it happened. No, I won't do it. Instead, I'm thinking about just covering the entire thing with about 6 inches of dirt. Do you think I need to break the eggs open before covering them? Can rotten eggs explode from the ground?