Monday, July 18, 2011

The Chickens Are Laying Eggs


I've been getting two to three relatively small eggs a day since July 1st, when my flock of eight Rhode Island Reds were 21 weeks old.  Over the next eight weeks they'll begin laying more, and bigger eggs, until they reach their maximum, theoretical, output of five or six 65 gram eggs per week per chicken. 

I check the nesting box a couple times a day.  Until my friend Blake makes a simple raccoon proof latch I'll continue to hold the door shut with a couple of drywall screws.

Since I'm taking eggs soon after they are laid, I leave a golf ball in each of the three nests to remind the chickens that this is the place to lay.  Their impulse is to lay a clutch of 5 or 6 eggs in the same spot, then, if they're broody, to sit on the eggs for 20 days or so until they hatch.  Not having a rooster, none of these eggs are fertilized, but the hens don't know that.  Luckily my hens aren't broody so they lay the egg and walk away.

I've been weighing and recording the eggs. More out of curiosity than anything else.

I've always eaten store bought, and hence uniformly sized eggs, so I'm getting used to having a carton of differently sized eggs.  As the hens mature I'm guessing that their eggs will become similarly sized.

So far I've made ice cream, scrambled eggs, and here, boiled.
If you have basic chicken questions, Backyard Chickens is a good online resource.

H2 here, adding a photo of our lunch today. The yolks are stunning, Bruce, and the flavor remarkably alive. Thank you! Next time I'll bring my $.


Ben Czajkowski said...

I show my wife each of your posts on chickens, in hopes that she will be persuaded to give up her mentality that chickens are noisy, smelly, and diseased creatures.

And your hardboiled egg has me jealous. I am now going to make some from my farmer's market eggs and pretend that they're from my imaginary henhouse. :)

H2 said...

Wonderful post, Bruce. I'm gonna sneak in a photo of the eggs you gifted us with, which we had for lunch. They were outstanding!

Debbie said...

Great to see that you are enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Katie Moroney said...

Love this post and your blog! I'm envious of your chicken keep ability. We're living in a strata building that that would probably tar and feature us before allowing the egg laying lovelies on our roof top patio. But we're growing a ton of veggies and can't wait to dip a little deeper into your blog for more ideas!