When the chickens were released this morning, most ran or flew to the birdfeeder—their first stop every morning. All but our wandering Dominique, Maria, who walked briskly and purposefully away from the others. She’s the chicken who stayed out all night on two occasions, and who laid her eggs in a rock wall for a few days, so I was curious and followed her.
Maria passed a big stack of logs, and then hopped up a pile of large rocks that had been excavated when our septic system was installed. I climbed after her and saw her nestle in a cavity between two large rocks.
Twice I checked back but she was still sitting on her nest. At last I saw all three Dominiques together, and went to look again. I expected a couple of eggs, but to my astonishment, there were nine!
Now we will have to find a way to encourage her to return to the nesting boxes. This latest location is a bit dangerous—we’re pretty sure creatures live in the rock pile, and it is so isolated from the other chickens, she seems vulnerable. I am impressed, however, with her independence and ingenuity!