We do! What seemed like an eternity, and was in fact just 5 short months of maturation for our little ladies, ended in late October with the arrival of our very first egg. I literally ran into the street with the lovely, perfect brown specimen clutched protectively in my hand – screaming and jumping like a kindergartener who is first to the playground.
Neighbors who had no idea we’d ventured into the world of chicken keeping smiled indulgently as I held out my prize for their inspection – a look of realization finally spreading across their faces as they began to understand just where that egg had originated. In. My. Yard! From my own chickens! Well, they might not have been as impressed as I was – but they humored me.
Seriously, I wanted to bronze it. I felt like I should send out birth announcements. I did NOT want to break it, or do less than place it on the mantle in a position of honor. At least until the 2nd, 3rd, 4th eggs came. At last I was able to relent, and scrambled eggs seemed like less a travesty and more a necessity.
In the beginning, an egg a day seemed like true bounty. As one hen after another reached egg laying age, the count began to grow. I rejoiced when I had enough to actually fill an egg carton! Hopeful family members began saving their old cartons, and I wondered if I could ever bring myself to part with these gifts from my generous, gorgeous pets.
We average 5 eggs a day now. That doesn’t seem like many, right? Five eggs -they (almost) fit in one hand when they are gathered. But 5 A DAY is actually a lot! Eggs began to fill the spaces in our kitchen.
I sought out ways to efficiently clean and store them. The fridge filled up. I began to give them to my family, at last satisfied that I could not possibly use them all – no matter how many muffins, cookies, omelets, and quiches I planned to make. I cleared space on the kitchen counter and bought an ingenious little contraption called an egg skelter. Two dozen eggs fit nicely and it amuses me no end to roll them down the chute!
I have begun to sell our eggs. I figure they are a cooperative effort between me and the hens. I feed the girls, clean the coop, make sure they are happy and safe. They lay beautiful, tasty brown protein orbs. It’s a pretty good partnership. And I get a side benefit – every single day gathering those eggs gives me a thrill.