Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cabin Life: The First Eggs

The First EggsYesterday morning, I let the chickens out into their run, just like I always do.  I sprinkled some food in there and gave them my customary “Hey Ladies!”  I’ve stopped trying to keep them in the run, as they seem to get out now whenever they feel like it.

Even so, I closed the plastic over the opening in the run, and went back inside to have some tea.  Whitey is far and away my most vocal chicken, and she was squawking up a storm.  I looked out to see her relentlessly attacking the plastic covering the opening, and as I watched, she escaped.  But to my surprise, she immediately hopped back into the coop.

Normally, she’d be out and about pecking at the ground, but for some reason, she had gone willingly into the coop.  I’m not sure why, but I thought that maybe she was laying an egg.  I hadn’t had any eggs from the girls yet, but I was expecting them any time.

I went out and looked into the coop.  She was in there, in the back corner, not making any noise.  I opened the door to the nesting boxes, but there were no eggs.  I looked back in at Whitey, crouched in the corner in a small depression in the straw and balsam boughs.  All of a sudden, I spotted a smooth white shape at Whitey’s feet.  Sure enough, it was an egg.

But Whitey was still crouched there in the corner, and quite frankly, she looked constipated.  Her body was heaving a little bit and her neck was working its way in and out.  Unexpectedly, she dropped an egg.  It made a dull thud as it hit the make-shift nest, and Whitey looked considerably relieved.  She made a few small noises and took a few steps.

In my excitement, I grabbed a small wooden cane that’s been hanging on the porch since I moved in.  I used the curved end to reach into the coop to fetch the eggs.  Whitey was not happy about this.  She started yelling at me as I reached in and grabbed the eggs.  The one she had just laid was still warm, but the other was cold.

I can only imagine when the cold one was laid.  As far as I know, Whitey is the only one laying, so it was probably a day or two old.  Luckily it’s been cold enough to keep the egg refrigerated for me.  I washed the two eggs, and later cooked them for lunch.  It wasn’t much of a lunch, as these were small eggs.  Deep golden yellow yolks made the scrambled eggs look almost like sunset.

They were delicious, though I’m most likely a little biased.  But it was sweet to get something out of the chickens other than a peck to the eye.

 

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Justin A Levine

Having grown up in the southern Adirondacks, Justin has always been at home in the mountains of New York. After graduating from Paul Smiths College, he began his career in the environmental field working for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. After a brief five year detour to Florida, Justin returned to the Adirondacks to live off the grid in a small cabin with no running water or electricity.

Justin continues to work and play in the outdoors, and maintains a blog about living off grid, hiking, and being outside in the Adirondacks called Middle of the Trail.







One Response

  1. karen says:

    if your chickens can get out, other critters can get in. fix your holes before you come out one morning and find you’ve killed your chickens. great story though

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