Friday, December 4, 2009

First Eggs!

This morning I posted about the first eggs I harvested from my free range chicken operation in a post that was about ten miles long, so I thought I'd give this event some more attention in a dedicated post.

Last night I went outside around two in the morning to work on the chicken coop. As I was setting up my work area, I happened to shine my headlight on a spot of ground inside the goat house and saw an egg lying there in the forest groundcover. At first, I felt like I was back at Doug's house (the man who sold us the chickens). He had over 100 chickens and lots of eggs lying around his yard. There was even a hatched chick lying dead right next to its shell on top of one of his cages. So when I saw this egg lying in the dirt inside the goat house, my first reaction was to think nothing of it since that was the first environment in which I ever saw home-raised eggs laid. Then, a split second later, I thought, "Wait a minute! That's an EGG! From MY CHICKEN!" I hurried over and picked up the egg excitedly, let out a great big YAAAHOOOO! and began inspecting it. It was what you'd probably call a small egg by grocery store standards. It was tan in color, and its shape was a lot more like that of a fig than a typical supermarket egg. I was about to turn back to the house to go wake up Emily to show her the eggs. I was so excited I didn't care if I had to wake up my pregnant breastfeeding sleep deprived wife to show her the evidence of our newest achievement in life. That thought quickly gave way to the thought that it would be much more pleasant in the long term to wait until she wakes up in the morning to show her the egg. As I started back to the house to store the egg inside, I stumbled upon another egg lying under the eave of the goat house and gave another forest-echoing holler for joy. I started back to the house with both my little eggs in tow. Emily was awake with the baby when I got inside, so I showed her the eggs briefly by holding them up in the light of my headlight. I just stood there, not saying a word, awaiting her response, which came quite as quite an anti-climax to me. She simply gave a thumbs up and said, "cool." To her credit, she did just wake up in the middle of the night to feed a crying baby. But we both enjoyed eating the eggs together in the morning! We got pictures!

This morning I went outside again to clear out the lean-to to make room for the load of free firewood we picked up today. I began removing items one by one from the shed when I saw my small dog, Mori, standing outside looking up at me with a look of shame holding an egg in his mouth! As soon as we made eye contact, he started running away, but I said, "MORI...DROP IT!" He stopped, gently placed the egg on the ground, and ran away, probably to hide his wounded little self-esteem somewhere. My poor Mori is would be a manic depressive if he were a human. Anyway, I stopped to wonder where the heck he picked that egg up since he was outside of the fenced area where all the other animals were. I continued with my work and went back into the shed to find the fourth egg of my little adventure today lying on the ground in the corner. I conjectured that Mori had probably picked up his egg from this same spot as it had been a well secluded, private corner hidden by a shelving unit before I moved it out of the shed. So...that was about 9 hours ago. I'd be willing to bet there are some more eggs waiting out there for me to go out and harvest them.

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