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YESSS!!!!

Do delicious, wholesome snacks come out of your best friend’s bottom in the morning? No? Too bad, so sad.

First egg: Friday the 10th. We’ve had six more since. They were supposed to start laying between 20 and 24 weeks old, and it was within a few days of week 22 exactly.

Here’s the thing, though: we think it’s just one of them at it.

I was told chickens change personality when they start laying — they weren’t kidding. Lucia (formerly the shy, dependant one) has become a whole ‘nother chicken. She’s restless and goes off on her own, without her little friend. She follows me around the garden like a puppy. Her comb and wattles have gone bright red and poofy. When you reach toward her, instead of beGAKking and flapping away, she hunkers down, throws her elbows out and waits — presumably a sexual readiness posture (ummm…ewww, Lucia).

The other one is still the same flighty peckerhead she’s always been.

The eggs are so small and perfect…they’re like the Barbie Dream House version. I feel like I should cook them in a tiny frying pan with a tiny spatula. They reckon it’s two bantam eggs to a large fowl egg, but the bantam ones have a higher proportion of yolk to white.

Mmmmm…yolk!

So far, I have eaten two. Fried. On a tiny piece of toast.

sock it to me

Comments


Comment from Deborah
Time: September 21, 2010, 8:11 pm

Wow! Ask and ye shall receive :) Is Lucia the buff-colored one?

 


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: September 21, 2010, 8:18 pm

Nah.. the stuff that come out of my best friends backside has to be shoveled into a trashbag and left for the garbage collectors…….

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 21, 2010, 8:25 pm

No, she’s the speckledy one. She was always the boring chicken, but she’s suddenly developed a personality.

She’s also showing a bad tendency to go broody — to sit on the nest hoping to hatch that wooden egg I leave in there. Pekin Bantams have a bad reputation for going broody (which is a good thing if you want to hatch some eggs, but not otherwise).

But Lucia tried to go broody after her second egg.

 


Comment from Sarah
Time: September 21, 2010, 8:35 pm

We have a couple of hens. Their eggs are quite wholesome and tasty. I like fried-egg sammiches, myself. :)

 


Comment from David Bain
Time: September 21, 2010, 9:12 pm

If you like fresh home made henfruit, try duckfruit. When our Indian runners can be bothered they lay big blue eggs which make the perfect fried egg – brown and crispy underneath and round the edges but with a cooked white top and a liquid yolk.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 21, 2010, 9:25 pm

I’d love some more livestock, David, but we have a fox problem. Sumbitch has actually sauntered through the garden with me in it more than once.

A little yappy dog would probably help, but Uncle B and the cat would leave me if I got one.

 


Comment from gebrauchshund
Time: September 21, 2010, 9:27 pm

We had ducks when I was a teen and I used to like putting a raw duck egg in my milkshakes.

Gave me the nastiest smelling farts ever recorded by human science.

Which at that age was a feature, not a bug.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 21, 2010, 9:30 pm

I used to make raw chicken egg milkshakes, come to think of it. Egg, milk, a little sugar and vanilla. They were a gorgeous pale yellow color. Salmonella? Never hoid of it.

No comment on the farts, though.

 


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: September 21, 2010, 9:32 pm

Stoatie, have you ever considered using a Have-a-heart trap to catch your fox, then taking him for a drive up the coast a ways?

 


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: September 21, 2010, 9:34 pm

GB, I doubt that you had ANYTHING on a cat I used to have as a kid, Kitty-Coon. When she got ahold of Sardines in Mustard Sauce, even Saddam Hussien ran like hell….

 


Comment from David Gillies
Time: September 21, 2010, 10:09 pm

The behaviour changes are likely due to your lack of a cockerel. A dominance hierarchy has formed.

Raw duck eggs are asking for trouble. I’d hesitate to eat them soft-boiled even.

 


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: September 21, 2010, 10:35 pm

What I would love is to find a place around here that sells Ostrich eggs. I understand that those are just about unbeatable as far as quality goes…..

 


Comment from hemmersheim
Time: September 21, 2010, 10:38 pm

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

fresh hen fruit………

yum yum yum……..I am so jealous!!!

The MiL used to have dozens of chickens…..1 euro fiddy for 10 of them…..and sooooooooooo good.

 


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: September 21, 2010, 10:42 pm

Scubs – Grief! We’d meed a dozen Have-a-hearts…. Reynard is rampant around here.

Of course, all the Olde Countrie Types are sniggering because the fox population has boomed since hunting with hounds was banned over here. Can’t say I ever liked the hunt, myself. Then again, can’t say I liked the hippies what banned it any better.

Oh, and ostriches? There’s a field of them in a town nearby. I have to divert Her Ladyship’s attention whenever we go by. Just the other day, she threatened to buy one and ride it into town on market day.

You think I jest?

Let it be whispered quietly… Stoaty’s mama was from Texas. She’d have ridden a T Rex, by all accounts.

And on market day, too.

 


Comment from USCitizen
Time: September 21, 2010, 10:53 pm

Hmm … maybe I CAN eat 40 eggs.

Are you far from Heathrow?

I’m in England for a bit.

Lemme know if we can meet up!

 


Comment from Allen
Time: September 21, 2010, 10:58 pm

Weasel, do you want to borrow Nikita, my wolf? He has killed several coyotes so I’m sure a fox would be no problem.

Ha, my wolf killed a coyote that was after one of the kittehs. Now that, will change your worldview.

 


Comment from Mark
Time: September 21, 2010, 11:07 pm

You can always make a chicken tractor:
http://home.centurytel.net/thecitychicken/tractors.html
to give your kids portable protection whilst you’re not present.

Wouldn’t leave them in that overnight, though. The Evil Ones would probably be brave enough to dig under it if left in darkness for 8 hours or so…

 


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: September 21, 2010, 11:17 pm

UB – So shoot the hippies, and elect the foxes to the council. They couldn’t do any worse for you.

 


Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: September 21, 2010, 11:47 pm

Her comb and wattles have gone bright red and poofy. When you reach toward her, instead of beGAKking and flapping away, she hunkers down, throws her elbows out and waits — presumably a sexual readiness posture (ummm…ewww, Lucia).

This pretty much describes the behavior of many of my students.

(My daughter’s on her way your direction Stoaty…she said she’d shout hello when she flies over southern England, so listen up about 8 tomorrow morning)

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2010, 12:09 am

Good lord, Nina — I’ve heard of eight in the morning, but I’ve never seen it. Not in England, I mean…

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2010, 12:11 am

If you’re at all worried about your Nina-spawn (or think she may visit the Souf), drop me a line and I can give her a phone number or something.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2010, 12:19 am

Sorry about the trip to the spam filter, US Citizen. We’re Southeast of London, way down on the coast of the English Channel (where the foghorns are going tonight, BTW).

If you’re going to be down this way at any point, drop me a line.

 


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: September 22, 2010, 12:22 am

Ugg. I swear, I need serious professional help.

The first thing that came to mind when you mentioned Fog and Foghorns was Adrianne Barbeau in “The Fog”…….

This help desk crap gets to you. :-(

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2010, 12:31 am

Aw, man, Scoob — you drive a help desk? Are you a BOFH?

 


Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: September 22, 2010, 12:33 am

If you’re at all worried about your Nina-spawn (or think she may visit the Souf), drop me a line and I can give her a phone number or something.

I’ll keep that in mind–I know she plans to travel as much as she can afford, and if she heads in that direction (she’ll be in Hull), I’ll let you know.

And your eggs make me hungry for eggs. Years ago I used to buy eggs from someone who kept chickens, and they were gooooood.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2010, 12:37 am

Heh. We’re a very long way from Hull, in British terms.

 


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: September 22, 2010, 12:39 am

Stoatie: Worse, i am a BOFH for the FAA…… 😉

 


Comment from cobrakai99
Time: September 22, 2010, 1:08 am

“Comment from Scubafreak
Time: September 22, 2010, 12:22 am”
Whereas I think of one Foghorn Leghorn when fog and chickens are mentioned in the same post.

 


Comment from David Gillies
Time: September 22, 2010, 1:10 am

Nina, going to England and winding up in Hull smacks of visiting the US and winding up in Trenton. I mean it’s doable, but why would you want to? Best thing ever to come out of Hull is the Humber Bridge.

 


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: September 22, 2010, 1:11 am

OMG, the spirits of evil undead poultry, come back to avenge themselves upon those who lured their coop onto the rocks, and stole their eggs 100 years ago….. LOL….

Uh, yah. I need SERIOUS professional help…… 😉

 


Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: September 22, 2010, 1:17 am

Heh. We’re a very long way from Hull, in British terms.

Which always makes me laugh. The weekend before last I went down to LA–by car, no less–for a Saturday night show. We left Saturday AM, spent the night in LA, and drove back home on Sunday. People just don’t do that in England, but then again, I doubt they have anything quite like the highway that is I-5.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2010, 1:21 am

The old saying goes “in Britain, a hundred miles is a long way; in America, a hundred years is a long time.”

Or the other way about. It is astonishingly true.

 


Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: September 22, 2010, 2:08 am

David, there’s a man involved in her choice of universities. Natch. :)

 


Comment from Elphaba
Time: September 22, 2010, 3:46 am

Hey, Stoaty,
Please check your email (just in case I ended up in your spam filter). I want to hire you for some graphic art fu, if you are interested!

E.

 


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: September 22, 2010, 4:33 am

Gawd, now I’m reading Elphaba’s post, and my mind is spouting bad “Space Balls” lines…..

“So, Lone Stoat, you have come. And I see that your Schwartz is as big as mine!”..

Oh Lord, someone please shoot me, I need the vacation…..

 


Comment from TimB52
Time: September 22, 2010, 5:20 am

Here you go…

http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-LMS3-Logic-Miniature-Skillet/dp/B000LXA9YI

 


Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: September 22, 2010, 12:39 pm

Oh, great…my kid got to London and they weren’t happy with her VIsa, so they’re SENDING HER BACK TO PHILLY to get it fixed. But she did wave as she flew over, Stoaty. :)

 


Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: September 22, 2010, 1:44 pm

On, Nina! OUCH! Hope it gets cleared up fast!

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2010, 2:48 pm

Aw, geez…I’m sorry, Nina. They are INCREDIBLY strict these days.

See, people got upset about all the Algerian pimps, Nigerian witch doctors and Romany pickpockets Labour let in, so they’re really, REALLY bearing down on American college students and Canadian retirees. Nice, hm?

Let me recommend the UK-Yankee forum. It’s for Americans trying to deal with Britain. They’re a terrible bunch of obnoxious lefties (or were — I heard rumors of a purge), but the people on there TOTALLY know their stuff when it comes to visas and shit (also things like where to find American food and recipe substitutions and like that). I would be completely lost without them.

 


Comment from Bill (still the .00358% of your traffic that’s from Iraq) T
Time: September 22, 2010, 6:24 pm

Nina, going to England and winding up in Hull smacks of visiting the US and winding up in Trenton.

Camden, DG, Camden. There actually *are* things to see and do in Trenton (almost as many as in Hull!), but about the only thing Camden has in its favor is that you can see Philly when the Delaware’s not fogged over…

 


Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: September 22, 2010, 9:37 pm

Daughter’s still stranded in Immigration…they won’t let the people who were there to meet her at Heathrow even talk to her so she has no way of knowing that someone will be in Philly to pick her up when she arrives (she wasn’t on today’s plane). And I have no idea a’tall how to get in touch with her.

Thanks for the link…I’ll check it out and recommend it to her as well.

Assuming she ever gets to leave the airport. :)

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2010, 9:47 pm

I have so totally heard that story before, Nina :(

 


Comment from GW_SS-Delta
Time: September 22, 2010, 10:26 pm

I am so glad you insulted me… otherwise, I would never have found this great blog.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 22, 2010, 10:45 pm

Aw, thanks. It seems I have flunked an internet meme :(

 


Comment from chicken farmer
Time: September 24, 2010, 8:21 pm

Bantams make great brooders, they’ll try to hatch golf balls and garlic bulbs! We used them to hatch and tend our REAL egg layers. Bantam cocks make great flock defenders against rats and snakes but a fox will have them away in no time.
For fantastic egg layers have a look here:
http://www.blackrockhens.co.uk/
You’ll be able to find a genuine supplier reasonably close to you, I’m sure.
As for foxes, there’s only one certain solution, it’s “bait and shoot”. Slightly smelly ox-heart is the best bait, cage it and staple the cage to the ground FIRMLY. Speak nicely to some of your neighbours who will eventually put you in touch with a ‘gentleman’ who has a .22 rifle and silencer. For the price of a couple of beers he’ll spend a few evenings watching your bait and popping off any fox which visits. Won’t take long to thin out the predator population to a manageable level.
Freshly laid eggs, still warm when collected are fantastic!

 


Comment from chicken farmer
Time: September 24, 2010, 8:24 pm

E-mail address wrong in that last post; correct in this one.
Dyslexic fingers.
Link didn’t appear. Trying again.
http://www.blackrockhens.co.uk/

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 24, 2010, 8:51 pm

Sayyyy…do I know you from the Practical Poultry forum, chicken farmer?

 


Comment from chicken farmer
Time: September 24, 2010, 9:40 pm

Nope, I only post here about farming stuff.
BTW, how’s your chook with the itchy face? No trace of mites, I hope.

 


Comment from chicken farmer
Time: September 24, 2010, 9:42 pm

And are you feeding your layers FINELY crushed oyster shells? You should,

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 24, 2010, 9:46 pm

Nope, still no trace of mites. I’ve got one of those cheap Chinese chicken houses with lots of hidey holes, so I keep a sharp eye out.

And I got the fine grit recommended for bantams, which does have a proportion of oyster shell in. I haven’t been too fussy, because they’ve not been laying. But now I’m saving their eggshells with an eye to crushing, baking them and feeding them back.

I have to say, though — so far, the shells are VERY tough.

 


Comment from chicken farmer
Time: September 24, 2010, 9:49 pm

If the shells are tough then you’re doin’ it rite!

 


Comment from chicken farmer
Time: September 24, 2010, 9:51 pm

But collected oyster shells (and other fresh shells) boiled for 20 minutes and then hand-crushed (with a hammer) have more minerals than chook egg-shells.

 


Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: September 29, 2010, 12:33 am

I’m a bit late on this party but once you’ve had real farm eggs you can’t go back to that horrid tasting watery crap at the store again.

 

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