My 20 week old Black Copper Marans, the oldest of two that I have, laid her first egg today. Unfortunately, she died immediately afterward, right in front of the nest box containing her first, and last egg. It wasn’t dark yet, but you can see she was able to put the paint on that causes the Marans eggs to be chocolate brown. I had been checking with wild anticipation to see her first egg. It was not as I hoped it would be.
I feel so helpless when this happens. I am sure she passed from the heat. It has been relentless for days. I provide them with shade, lots of fresh water, open coops, cold watermelon and fresh greens, still the heat claims one or two every year. I have a friend who raises Spanish breeds which are more heat tolerant. I may branch out from my current plan and hatch some of those for my dark egg layers.
Here is an older picture of her before she moved into the big girl coop. She was a gangly girl with heavily feathered legs and feet. She was skittish as heck too. RIP sweet girl.