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Awkward First Attempts April 19, 2006

Posted by Joe in Uncategorized.

Remember those awkward first attempts at something in your youth? You know, like the clay “bowl” you made in third grade that looked more like a volcano, post-eruption? Or that popsicle-stick “snowflake” you glued together that more closely resembled the chemical configuration of a sulfuric acid molecule? Well, that phenomenon isn’t limited to us humans.

Back in the fall, we had 3 hens insist on setting eggs despite the increasing chill in the night air. Their chicks grew quite well and have become our most recent round of “teenagers.” As the six month old mark came, the teenaged girls began to reach maturity and start laying eggs.

First eggs, kind of like first attempts at many human ventures, can be a bit uncertain and frequently don’t turn out quite the way you expected. Once or twice last year, we got tiny eggs with no yolks. A few times, we got eggs that were close to 4 inches long and contained enormous yolkS inside. Joe said that chicken really DID have something to crow about when she laid those, and boy, I’ll bet she feels better now.

Yesterday, while collecting eggs, I noticed some more anomalies in the nesting boxes. One had a very thick shell with angled creases and lumpy places all over it. Another was completely without a shell! (You know how there is a membrane inside the shell that actually contains the white and yolk? THAT was all that was covering it!). It was soft and jello-like. Shortly after this picture was taken, “someone” enjoyed the feel of it too much and it sprang a leak. Oh well.

P.S. Did you know that shell color is determined by the breed of chicken laying the eggs? We have some blue-green egg layers in addition to the brown eggs layers and if you collect the eggs too soon after being laid (before they are completely dry) the color can smudge off. It is one of the last layers applied to the egg before it is laid.



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