Apparently, the little talk with the chickens worked. A few days later, one of the hens laid her first egg.
There was much rejoicing, but we didn’t know who to personally thank. The eggs on the second and third days were found next to the house, near the kitchen door. Our unfortunately-named hen, Toadeater, was eventually found to be the chicken responsible.
The after-school egg hunt race proved to be a little too competitive, and rules had to be put in place.
A week later, when five eggs had been collected (enough for the family to share), we were finally able to put them to use. Scrambled eggs never tasted so good.
Toadeater has been a very good producer, she’s even learned to leave them in the nesting box for us (a little less convenient than the next to the kitchen door, mind you). Yesterday, the children found a little tiny egg – which means that it probably came from another hen. In a month or two we should be collecting 8-10 eggs a day. Until then, our chickens earn their keep by making the yard look a little more picturesque.