Well, there you have it. This little urban farm is officially an egg producing operation. Sure, our production numbers are low and our eggs are small, but it’s happening, nonetheless.
I’m going to admit that I’d started to lose faith in my hens. Let me be clear, I knew it wasn’t their fault. I blamed winter. Chickens produce eggs based on all sorts of environmental factors, daylight being one of them. And in Minneapolis these days, daylight isn’t in great supply. It’s dark before five. I’d sort of resigned myself to a no-eggs-till-spring idea.
That’s why what happened over the weekend was so shockingly delightful.
“Call me right now!!!!!!”
That’s the text I received from Jay on Saturday evening.
I was working at my day job (which that day, was more like a night job) and asked Jay to go to the house to close up the coop for the evening, before we met up for a holiday party. He told me he’d send me a note to let me know all is well at the homestead when he arrived. So, just minutes before Twin Cities Live went live, I sneaked out of the studio to check my phone.
The text continued.
“We have an egg!!!!!!!!!”
Jay’s voice was absolutely, positively the most excited and thrilled and bursting with joy I’d ever heard it. And I loved it.
Jay took the egg from the nesting box (the hen actually used the nesting box!) and gingerly placed it in it’s very own carton.
And I raced home to see it.
It’s small, as a hen’s first egg is expected to be. Light brown. Delicate. Elongated and narrow on one end. It was the most beautiful egg I’d ever seen. Months of planning. Raising chicks from just a few days old. Waiting for their coop to arrive. Worrying about them. And wondering if this day, egg day, would ever come.
Early Monday morning I pulled on my boots and crunched through the backyard over the fresh ten inches of snow that fell over the weekend. I opened the coop and run doors to free the birds for the day and thought, “just maybe.”
I went around to the nesting box, tugged at the frozen latch and pulled the lid open. It was heavy from snow which then tumbled to the ground.
And there it was. Another egg!
It was still warm when I picked it up. This one, a little bigger than the last. Some white speckles dotting one end. Smooth shell. Heavy for it’s size.
You might be wondering, as I am, who is laying these glorious eggs?
Jay spotted Susie in the nesting box when he found the first egg.
When I peered in for the second, MaryAnne was lurking near the opening. At this point, we just aren’t sure.
People asked, what are you going to do with that first egg?
What I’m going to do with all the others. Eat it.
The first eggs especially deserve respect. Appreciation. Simplicity.
I cracked the thin shells of the small eggs carefully into bowls and was immediately struck by the vivid orange hue of their petite yolks. A result, I thought proudly, of the piles of vegetable and fruit snacks my chickens eat daily. And the grass, weeds and bugs they peck at in the yard.
The eggs were fried. In a little bit of good butter. Sprinkled with Maldon salt and coarse ground pepper. And served with toast. Also buttered, of course.
And they were just as I thought they’d be.
Congratulations! You sound just as excited as I was. I thank my girls everyday for the delicious gifts they give.
How exciting, what a way to start a week and have a yummy fresh egg. After all this snow, the girls are doing their job anyway. They must have a wonderful warm home and are showing their appreciation. I get so excited when you send a blog,your stories are so fun to read. How do they like all this snow? Looking forward to the next blog about another egg.
Woot woot! I can only imagine your excitement and have throughly enjoyed reading your blog and felt a little bit of that excitement myself today when I read your latest entry. Eagan just approved having an ordinance that would allow us to raise chickens and I am very tempted:)
Way to go Eagan! And go for it! 🙂
Congratulations! I’ve been following your blog from the beginning. What a wonderful Christmas present the “girls” gave you. BTW – the orange yolk is stunning!!!
Thank you so much, Cindy!
Yay! Good work chickens!
Elisabeth, What do your chickens do in the snow? Do they still run around your yard? I love the eggs! We get our eggs in bulk from Fresh and Natural and they are so much better then the eggs from the big box stores!
Congratulations! I’ve been following from the beginning and eagerly waiting for your first egg!
I’m excited for you! Great post.
Looks awesome! Nice dark yolk..yummy!
You are one proud mama!! I love reading your posts!!
Do you know how to rock a chicken to sleep?? My mother n law lives in SD on a family farm – the old fashioned kind of farm with a lot of different livestock and chickens…she has laying hens…it’s aways a thrill for the grandkids to watch her rock one of her laying hens to sleep 🙂
That first egg is so exciting. We have a buff Orpington too. Her name is Pennie. Our other two are Lennie and Hoth jr. Jr has feathers on her feet and Lennie likes to join us for dinner when we eat outside. Yeah for you!
Congratulations! I remember getting our first eggs. They were so small, a little bigger than a cherry tomatoe but each day they got bigger. The color and flavor is out of this world! We just got three new ones and two of them look like Susy Q & MaryAnne… funny.
Congratulations and enjoy! Sadly my girls are nearing 5 yrs old and eggs laying has become–not so much!
Different chickens lay different color eggs, check the color of their ear lobes. (This is what I have heard, old wives tale?) Our sassy Muran’s lay dark brown and our Aeracauna lay pretty blue to green. My husband and 11 year old have quite a few chickens, we are 40 miles out of the city on 4 acres, and love it. Their joint Christmas present this year was an incubator for up to 300 eggs, they were thrilled. Almost as good as an X-box. Just signed up for your blog and can’t wait to hear more, love listening to you on 107 wish I was home more for TCL. Enjoy
Congratulations on your first 2 eggs. The yolk really looked like it would be rich tasting. I was so looking forward to watching you bring John, (on your day job) some eggs. I love watching the two of you interact with each other. I sure hate to see him go, as I,m sure you are. You,ll do just fine with whoever they hire. I’m wondering if you have to shovel out for the chickens to have a place to run around in? Love reading your blog.
I am new to your blog. Help me out here.
This is Great!! Excuse me for asking, but I thought you also had to have a rooster for the hens to have eggs. We raised chickens, when I was younger, but we always had a rooster. Talk to me,please.
Yay! First eggs are so fun!!!
You need a Rooster to have chicks, but eggs the hens can do on their own
Wow,thanks. You learn something new every day. Grandma never told me that, but then I never asked.
I’m so excited for you!!
That egg is above and beyond even organic grocery store eggs! It is beautiful! So bright!
How exciting. I am so happy for you.