I bought eggs today.
Usually I don’t buy eggs…
We have a home-grown supply thanks to our gals…
But for research purposes, I broke down and bought a dozen.
This is what they look like in the box…
Pretty white, and very uniform in size and shape…
I don’t know how they get the chickens to lay eggs like that.
My chickens lay eggs that look like this…
The only thing consistent about the eggs around
Thistle Dew Farm is what’s inside…
The egg on the left is store-bought.
The egg on the right is home-grown.
Fresh, home-grown eggs have bright orange yolks instead of pale yellow.
They “stand up” in the pan… the white isn’t all watery.
And they taste like an EGG.
Once you get used to eating them, it’s hard to go back to store-bought!
Annie’s day of pie-making includes gathering eggs from her Pop’s hens.
Have you ever gathered fresh eggs?
We’ve kept chickens for about fifteen years,
and here’s what we’ve learned about them…
Hens… female chickens… start laying eggs somewhere between 4 and 6 months old. They lay about an egg a day, unless they’re molting, or getting new feathers. They sometimes lay more… especially in the spring. They sometimes lay less… like in the winter months, or extremely hot or cold weather. Young hens are very productive egg layers, and older gals space theirs out more and eventually stop laying all together. Sometimes the older hens will lay BIG eggs. Sometimes young hens will lay double-yolkers. Once, we found a triple-yolk egg… and boy, was it HUGE!
To make baby chickens, you need roosters. (Don’t worry Moms, that’s as far as I’m going with that. Keeping this Rated G.) Roosters are male chickens and they crow. A LOT. It’s a good idea to make sure your neighbors like the idea of farm animals before you get roosters. (Or you can bribe them with home grown eggs.) If you have roosters, some of your eggs will be fertilized, but chicks will not grow inside the egg unless a broody hen decides to set on them. Broody means she really wants to be a Mama Hen, and she will not be happy with you if you try to take any eggs out from under her. She may try to hid her eggs from you and set in a secluded place. If we have a broody hen, we’ll gather up a small pile of eggs for her and encourage her to set in the barn instead of the hen house. (Because she will try to set on every egg she sees and get them mixed up!) Her chicks will hatch 21 days from the day she begins setting on them… even if some are a week old before she sets. I think that is absolutely fascinating.
And that’s what I know about chickens.
If you ever come visit, we’ll introduce you to ours!
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Pie from Scratch!
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