In the mornings, as we give the hens their food and water, they hint rather strongly that they want to go out into the yard. Willow literally pushes up against us to go outside. Nudging her back into the coop is a morning ritual. We let them out in the afternoons/evenings but never in the morning. The chickens disagree with our executive decision and every day they stage a mini-protest and ask to go out. Sorry ladies, but you have to wait until we get home from work and can watch over as you forage. Rules are important (though they can and do get broken on weekends when we are home). Also, if they seriously want to protest I need to see some better signs or at least an awesome drum circle. Have they not learned anything from living in Wisconsin?
This morning I was greeted by 3 out of our 4 hens as I gave them food. When I poured a new pile of grit it was still only 3 hens. After I had taken the water dish out, cleaned it, added fresh water, walked back to the coop, AND put it into the run there were still only 3 hens. Then I heard it: a squawking, a clucking, a flapping of wings, and one loud final squawk. After the ruckus Willow came wandering down the ramp into the run. I opened up the nest box and found a freshly laid still warm egg waiting for me. At least now I know why she wasn't pushing to get outside this morning... she is the first of our hens to start laying eggs!