I have been negligent in blogging! I have been sooooo busy! I had much preparation to do for a craft fair event and have been busy with a whole host of other things, and it just seemed like I would never have a moment's peace. Today, I have a brief moment to report exciting news!
We have eggs!
Let me just repeat that, for the sheer joy of it! WE HAVE EGGS!
This is very exciting for me. My very first farm animals, back in Iowa, were 3 lovely chickens. From there I branched out into sheep, goats, llamas, angora rabbits, and ducks, not to mention geese and donkeys. It was chickens, though, who got me started on so many changes in my life, and they hold a special place in my heart. There is something quite charming about a little feathered creature who lays eggs, like little gifts in the nest box, just waiting to be found. Orbs of perfect goodness - an excellent protein source and a base for so many recipes, both savoury and sweet.
When I left Iowa, my hens were dispersed. Some went to friends in Iowa. Some went to live with Isobelle the Beautiful Goat, in New York. None came with me. They are quite an ordeal to bring over the US/Canada border, requiring quarantine - even Lucky Nickel didn't need quarantine! So it was with much sadness that I started my new life here without my hens, without any eggs. I managed to get some chicks in June and somehow lucked out with my picks from a straight run batch, choosing 7 hens, but of course they were too young to lay yet. I then got a breeding pair of cuckoo marans from Hidden Meadow Farm on September 2, but she immediately decided to moult, so I had no eggs from her either!
This week, finally, we had our first egg! And our second! And today, our third and fourth, in one day!! It is just about perfect timing because my Dad made me 6 beautiful wooden eggs, turned on his lathe, for the purpose of enticing the hens into the nest boxes.
Hens like to lay in places where other hens have laid eggs, so fake eggs are often used to encourage first-time layers to lay in the right spot.
One of today's two eggs was successfully laid in the nest box beside two wooden eggs! Hooray!
I think that one of the Rhode Island Reds is laying, and I do believe that these are her first 3 eggs.
You can see that the sizes are different, but I think the smallest one was her first, and now she is "ramping up" to size. If that is the case, she has laid 3 eggs in 4 days. Hooray!
The other egg is definitely different. It's rather an unusual shape - quite pointed on one end.
It has lovely darker speckles on it.
I suspect the copper maran, but I may be wrong. I suspect her because I actually caught her in the nest box later in the day. Perhaps she was checking on her earlier offering?
Either that, or it's another hen's egg and I am just not sure whose! It didn't come from either of the two Polish hens, because they lay white eggs. The other breed possibilities are the second Rhode Island Red (doubtful with those speckles), the light brahma, or the silver-laced Wyandottes. Time will tell!
For the moment, I'm just terribly excited to have my own eggs again, so I don't have to buy from the store. Three cheers for the hens!