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Which Came First?

First Eggs | www.myfoododyssey.com

Finally, I have the answer. It’s the chicken. The chicken definitely came first. Six weeks before the egg, to be exact. For six weeks I have been diligently checking the coop every day, patiently waiting for an egg. Friends advised that it might be some considerable time before we got an egg as the hens were so young and their combs and wattles were still quite small.

Recently, two of my bigger girls started developing deep red combs and wattles and I began to feel that the day was imminent. Still, they kept me waiting. I fed them well, I kept their coop clean, I ensured they got lots of fresh air and sunshine.

First Eggs | www.myfoododyssey.com

I have been feeding them a mixture of kitchen scraps, grain, grasses and leafy weeds. They eat almost everything I give them, though I can confirm that they’re not fond of citrus. I have read a number of blogs and books which suggested that chickens be fed a special “layers’ mash” – a combination of grains and other goodies to ensure they have all the nutrients they need for laying. I have had other advice suggesting that kitchen scraps and free-range grazing would produce as many eggs.

I’ve been reluctant to let the girls out to wander the garden since the “dog” incident. The girls are neither as fast nor as feisty as the cock and I feared an encounter with an over-eager dog might result in bloodshed. As they had eaten all the grass and weeds in their run I have been supplying them with lots of grass and weeds from around the garden – they same stuff they would eat if they were allowed to wander freely.

First Eggs | www.myfoododyssey.com

All that and still no egg. Yesterday we ran out of grain and I asked Arūnas to pick some up on a run into town. I suggested that he buy a layers’ mash if he could find one. He did find one and, though it was a little more expensive than the plain grain, we reckoned we’d give it a try.

Less than 24 hours later and I walk into the coop to find these two eggs sitting in a carefully created dimple of straw at the back of one of the nesting boxes. I find it hard to believe that the layers’ mash made the difference in such a short space of time. I guess I’ll never know. But the main thing is, they’ve started laying. I don’t think I’ve ever seen two more beautiful eggs – they just seem to sparkle.

Despite having waited for them for such a long time I find myself reluctant to break them open. I’ll do it tomorrow, when the novelty has worn off a little. Any suggestions on what I should make as my inaugural egg dish? Fried, sunny-side up? Boiled egg and soldiers? A nice crisp meringue? A soft sponge sandwich? The options are endless. That’s the joys of eggs – they have so many uses. I won’t agonise over it too much as hopefully there will be many, many more eggs to come.

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First Eggs | www.myfoododyssey.com

24 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sonja #

    Wow, they look amazing! Whatever you made with them, I’m sure it was extra special!!

    Liked by 1 person

    May 10, 2014
    • Thanks, Sonja! In the end I fried them in my own home cured bacon fat. They were absolutely delicious! You can see a photo here:

      Like

      May 11, 2014
  2. It is great when they start to lay isn’t it? We get 4 eggs a day and I let them out around the farmyard around 5pm until they go to bed at dusk. They get fed on layers pellets but I cook up vegetable peelings etc too. They love love love any leftover pasta.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 9, 2014
    • They seem to love most leftovers, Lorna! I gave them some cooked broccoli stalks from the stockpot today and they nearly ran over each other trying to get at them! Collecting the eggs is so much fun – I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of it.

      Like

      May 9, 2014
  3. I’m hoping to have some chooks- just not sure if the yard’s big enough. They’re so companionable, love they’re little cluckings and murmurings. (katesclippings)

    Liked by 1 person

    May 9, 2014
    • I hope you find the space, Kate. They really are so entertaining to watch, each with their own personality. I love them!

      Like

      May 9, 2014
  4. How exciting! Nothing like collecting your own eggs.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 8, 2014
    • It was exciting! I was like a child on Christmas morning! Here’s to many more eggs to come.

      Liked by 1 person

      May 8, 2014
  5. Yay! Congrats. With these two pioneers, I believe soon the others might follow suit too 🙂 and then it’s a feast of eggs.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 8, 2014
    • Thanks Aste! Fingers crossed there’ll be a few more today!

      Like

      May 8, 2014
      • I sure think there’s plenty of them coming 🙂 With this number of girls when each of them starts laying you might soon find yourself desperate for egg storage space. Back in the day when my late grandma kept some chickens, this meant like 4 to 6 eggs per day during high season, so brace yourself and prepare to eat many dishes with eggs any time now 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        May 8, 2014
  6. Great post! You’re right – they do sparkle! Soft boiled with soldiers and a couple of asparagus spears…

    Liked by 1 person

    May 8, 2014
    • Ooh, asparagus sounds yum! Haven’t seen them here – must go in search.

      Like

      May 8, 2014
  7. I’m going to say fried or scrambled or soft boiled to really savour the flavour, rather than using them as an ingredient.

    Liked by 1 person

    May 7, 2014
  8. Meringue, meringue, meringue 🙂
    And congratulations!

    Liked by 2 people

    May 7, 2014
    • Thought you might vote for meringue! I love them too!

      Like

      May 7, 2014
      • Pavlova is my favourite dessert – throw on some strawberries and kiwis (and throw in a glass of wine) and I’m there 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        May 7, 2014

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