Often we will find four eggs in the same nesting box. The hens go in, one after the other; once I saw two together in the same box. They are also quite suggestible. The two middle boxes are the most popular, but when one hen started laying in the top boxes, others followed. And when poor Mr. Rooster started sleeping in the lower nesting boxes (when he couldn’t get onto the perch) a couple of hens started laying eggs there.
All except for one. Our wandering Dominique has yet to lay an egg in the nesting boxes. Each morning when we let them all loose into the yard, she takes off at breakneck speed (I have tried keeping up with her…she is fast), around the house. Cherisse and I followed her one day into a brambly patch where some blackberries are growing wild, thinking we’d find eggs. We didn’t. Today I raced after her and she climbed over one stone wall, and then walked on top of an intersecting wall. I saw her appear and disappear as she went up and down the rocks, until finally disappearing completely from sight a good distance away.
We watched for awhile, eventually spying her in a crevice between two big rocks, and we could hear soft clucks. Some time passed before she emerged. We raced over and found a protected cavity between the rocks, filled with leaves. There were three eggs inside, and bits of broken shell. We kept the warm, freshly laid egg, and now will check there daily (so that some other creature doesn’t discover the cache). If she disappears next spring (when she might get “broody” and interested in hatching chicks) we will know where to look.