Monday, February 18, 2013

Now All Five Are Laying Eggs

Our first egg was spotted on January 18, 2013.  The girls were 19 weeks and 3 days old, so not quite 5 months old.  Whoever the first layer was, I don't know, but was a regular producer.  She has been giving us 6 eggs every week.

The first egg that I found in the coop.  When I picked it up, it was still warm.  It was so exciting to get a little "present" from one of the girls. :D  The egg was perfectly formed, but when I placed it in the egg holder in my fridge, it looked dwarfed against the store-bought XL eggs. XD

A couple of weeks later, I've collected enough to make some boiled eggs to be turned into Deviled Eggs.  Little did I know...  farm-fresh eggs are hard to peel when boiled!  I found out on the internet.  Generally speaking, older eggs peel more easily. ^^;  I ended up spending 45 minutes trying to peel these guys and was still unsuccessful.  The eggs were looking pretty sad by the time I was done peeling. T_T

Fast forward to Feb. 12, 2013.  My daughter and I went out to the coop where she spotted a weird egg (See the one of the left, middle row, in the pic.).   I was doing something else for the girls, when she yelled out, "There's a deformed egg!".  I didn't quite understand what she meant by 'deformed'.  It turns out that the egg only had a membrane in place of a hard shell...  Weird stuff we had not expected nor was prepared to see.  She said it was like jelly and creepy and refused to touch it. XD  I picked it up carefully.  Surprisingly, it held without falling apart.  I put it against the sun and I could spot a yolk inside.  So, aside from the freakish appearance, it's a 'normal' egg. XD  Later, I looked things up on the internet to find out that when young hens first start laying eggs, sometimes the first few are not quite fully formed and shell-less eggs can result.  Also, if the hens get too much treats and not enough calcium in the form of oyster shells, they can lay weird shell-less eggs as well.  Considering that other hens were laying perfectly normal eggs, we figured that this was one of the other ones just starting to lay. ^^  Sure enough, we did not see any more like this.

Coco, our Easter Egger (Ameraucana), was expected to lay greenish/bluish eggs, so we have been waiting to see the first egg from her eagerly.  She has had two previous 'attempts' where the shells were so flimsy the eggs were crushed either by being stepped on or sat on.  On the third try on Feb. 18, 2013, she successfully laid a pastel green egg with a perfect hard shell. :D  It was still warm when I picked it up.  It's so pretty!  Here in the photo above, you can see the various shades of brown eggs we get from our girls.  Some are darker and larger and rounder than the others.  But they are all from healthy, happy chickens. :D  I think it's now safe to say that we've bought our last carton of eggs from the grocery store.  We are now getting 3 to 4 eggs a day.  Plenty for a family of three.