Our big news is…..we have our first egg!
One of our hens, Cutie Pie, is a Golden Campine. She stands out from the flock. She is petite, intelligent, and flies over the fence daily to forage. We finally decided to just let her be. She never strays too far from the flock, and is under the watchful eye of our dog, Shadow. It is in her genetics that prompts her to hurdle boundaries to forage.
I noticed the last few days she had been in the coop, making noise and scratching. I checked for eggs….no eggs. Even standing outside she would begin making a ruckus. Friday morning she had been out and about, as usual. Then Deacon came in from outside and said he did not see Cutie Pie. She did not come when he called, like the rest of the girls did. We both went out to look. I told him to check the coop as she had been in there a bit lately. Meanwhile, I walked around the perimeter of their yard, seeing if she was blending in with the Fall foliage and ignoring his call. Then I heard Deacon cry out, “We have an egg!” Sure enough, Cutie Pie was in the coop. I peeked in and saw the small, white egg. How happy we were! Actually, there were two. I forgot to check the boxes Thursday in our haste to leave. It looks as though the Youngun has a new job now.
I have been watching the other girls and Red Beak has been going up and down the ramp too. I sure thought Butter would be first. So, who will be next? Hm.
We are keeping the eggs in a bowl on the counter. I had read, and a friend also told me, that keeping them unrefrigerated is safe. It is how it was done before the days of refrigeration. The reason why commercial eggs need refrigerated is because the protective coating, called ‘bloom’, is washed off. The bloom protects against bacteria. We do not plan on extended storage of our eggs. I believe the hens will provide us with just enough to eat regularly and to share with family.
In a couple of days, it looks as though we will receive our first significant winter weather with at least four straight days of below freezing temps. Therefore, the next two are dedicated to preparing. Maybe I will have some winter wonderland photos to share!
Peace ‘n chickens, ya’ll!