There are a few things they just don’t tell you when you start raising chickens. I realize that I have become the crazy chicken lady, but if you ask my fiance he will openly tell you that I’ve always been relatively crazy, I just happened to acquire chickens somewhere along the way. However you want to look at it, there is never a dull moment when you have a flock of your own.
One of the things that ultimately blew my mind when my hens started laying eggs was the beautiful colors they make. What baffled me even more is that white eggs simply come from white hens, and brown/red eggs come from brown/red hens, depending on breed. Who would have ever known that if we didn’t have Google? Well, I have four hens on duty. Most of the time I get four eggs a day, which is plenty. But the other day, I stumbled across my first “fairy egg”. Yes. It looked like a hummingbird snuck into my coop and laid an egg. You can imagine my confusion, being the rookie chicken farmer that I am. Again, thank God for Google and the Back Yard Chickens page on Facebook. That day, I gathered two and a half eggs: two eggs were from my girls who aren’t afraid to get the job done, the fairy egg came from one (haven’t found the culprit yet) who apparently only put in a half-day, and I suppose the non-existent egg is at the responsibility of the girl who just decided to take the day off. Freeloader.
I wasn’t too upset, just felt disrespected. I treat these hens like little queens with wings, ya’ll. They get yogurt and veggies more often than not. I’ve let it go. I chalked it up to a sneeze during the production process. A misfire. A fart. Whatever, it happens.
To get my point across, however, I did sit on the front porch and sip sweet tea from my rocking chair whilst letting some chicken breasts thaw out in the sun, ya know, just to drop a subtle hint.
After that, I got seven eggs in 24 hours. Imagine that.
Also, chicken math is so real. If you’ve never heard of it, just ask your fellow crazy chicken neighbor. They’ll tell you that chickens are about impossible to keep up with. I mentioned my own math in a few prior blogs, but for my newcomers, here it is:
Started with 3 (two hens, one rooster)
Dogs killed 1, so then I had two left.
I was devastated, so I got 6 more.
Then I had 8.
My grandma wanted some chickens, so I gave her 2.
Went down to having 6.
Then, that stupid stray dog came back for seconds, and he took my beautiful rooster with him, leaving me with only 5.
Add one trip to the feed store, and now I have 7.
I can identify with chicken math to a degree that most people wouldn’t readily understand. I failed college algebra about four times before I finally got the hang of it and passed with a D. I’ve never claimed to be able to count, so when Clint asked where the two newbies came from, I just kind of shrugged it off like it was a mystery to me too.
I tell everyone that they need chickens, though. I can’t believe I didn’t have them sooner. They are so fun, and it never gets old having fresh eggs around the house. Some people have 200+ chickens, and they mostly butcher them, which I have considered because it’s cheaper and I know exactly what is going into my birds bodies. But for now all of my girls are pets. Even the freeloader.
Getting four eggs a day adds up quickly, though. I don’t know how people do it when they have 20+ chickens! I’ve had to get creative with my cooking so that I can make good use of the eggs. Clint had a brilliant idea that we are going to try tonight: make dozens of breakfast burritos and freeze them. When you want one, they’ll thaw right out in the microwave and viola! Instant breakfast. Which is important around our house, because we each commute about an hour to work each day, so waking up any earlier than we have to is basically a nonissue. Even for breakfast. To be honest, the coffee barely gets made.
I wish I had more time to blog about all of my adventures with my feathered counter parts, but this will have to do for now. The next time I get a fairy egg, we may be having chicken and dumplings. I’ll be sure to include the recipe in a blog.