This is one of my Australorps, happily parked in the nest box. I'm so proud of her. I knew she'd be statring to lay sometime soon, since she was exhibiting signs of sexual maturity (large, bright red wattles and comb, squatting, and no longer shedding her neck feathers). But I wasn't sure when she would lay, or if maybe she had already started. Some hens don't lay in the nest box (my Wyandotte) or even the coop. So since they free-range most of the day, I thought she may be laying in the woods, or the neighbors bushes, or Lord-knows-where-else. I felt bad shutting all of the girls in just to see if one hen was laying, especially since there aren't many nice days left, so I was determined to wait for a rainy day to keep them all in the coop.
But apparently that won't be necessary. This afternoon I came home from dropping Ethan off at his "grandparent's" house, and was greeted by only three happy chickens. I checked the bushes, the neighbor's yard, and the woods before thinking that she might be in the coop.
And there she was, right where she was supposed to be, and hopefully working on laying an egg.
The first ones seem to take a while -- the Wyandotte sat on the nest for about 90-120 minutes for the first few days -- so I had to leave for work while she was still sitting in the nest box.
Let's hope she has something to show for all that sitting!