When word got out (via this News Page) that our fifty hens had all but ceased laying eggs, we received word that we should not despair.
The kind person wrote this:
“Several years ago, when I was living in my little hermitage in the Redwoods of Northern California, I befriended a pair of Ravens that lived nearby. . . I took to feeding these Ravens because I enjoyed the visits and company they provided me. Their favorite food was, of course, chicken eggs, and in my loneliness, I found myself trying to bargain with the pair, offering them a supply of fresh eggs in exchange for a Raven egg of their own, in the hope that I might incubate and raise a Raven to gain a companion.
To my surprise, after a few days of jabbering at them when they would come for breakfast, (only somewhat believing they understood what I was getting at), one of the pair brought me a small wooden egg, and left it on the railing of my cottage porch.
So it was that I came to inquire about the wooden egg with the locals, who had more knowledge of what this wooden egg was and where it might have come from. I was told that some local farmers used them as a way to inspire hens that had quit laying, to produce again, simply by placing this wooden egg under the roosting hen or in the nest. Ravens by nature, and being what they can be. . . well. Being inclined to superstition and an inability to discard gifts of any kind, I have kept this wooden egg all of these years.”
With that, the owner of the wooden egg offered it to us. It arrived safely and is now in our St. Brigid (Patroness of chickens) hen house at the Monastery. Thank you, dear friend!
Below is a photo of the incentive-egg.