Monday, December 7, 2009

eggs! EGGS!!

I can hardly pull myself together to write this update, I am so excited. My Rhode Island Red named Tilda has started laying EGGS! Surely, billions of hens all over the world are laying eggs today, but that does nothing to diminish the miracle that an animal in my own backyard is producing beautiful, delicious food for us to enjoy. I am proud; she is proud! Ever since she's been laying, my most spirited chick has become even sassier. When I open the coop cage in the morning, she is now trying to sally past me into the yard. After all, she is a laying hen now; she is a queen.
At left, an egg from the first day—note the crusty white deposits;
at center, an egg from the second day—the shell color is still a little mottled,
but since then the eggs have all been perfect;
at right, a large egg from a mature hen to show scale

A hen's first eggs are usually quite small, though Tilda's eggs are a respectable size. They are medium according to official size classifications. She is also a powerhouse layer. We've had eight eggs from her in just five days, even though it's winter and she isn't getting the 14 to 15 hours of light that hens need for peak production. It is my understanding that you typically can expect three to five eggs per week from a hen. At this rate, she'll be giving us a dozen! I know that all the eggs are hers because they've all been brown. Our Orpington will lay white eggs and our Ameraucana, blue eggs.

Two eggs from Tuesday morning,
which Tilda had deposited neatly into the nesting box

When I found eggs in the hen house first thing in the morning,
I woke my son up to collect them. He raced outside
in his pajamas and parka. Such excitement and joy!

I bought a vintage egg basket at Brimfield
this summer in anticipation of this glorious day.

The three girls. Tilda needs to show the other two the ropes,
and we'll have eggs coming out our ears!

Alethea Morrison, Creative Director
All photos by Mars Vilaubi


Wendy Penner said...

I loved your egg post and all the excitement-congratulations! Very inspirational.

brendamod said...

So exciting! I am officially envious. A neighbor is getting chickens and I can't wait to make their acquaintance (the chickens, that is). PS. Xavier is getting so big!