Posts Tagged ‘eggs’

Before we had chickens, an egg wasn’t anything special to me.

I’d certainly bought and used a lot of them, and in more recent years, influenced by terrible accounts of battery hen farming, we’d made a concerted effort to only buy free range eggs.

But I’d never really given much thought to eggs, other than wondering whether or not there were enough in the fridge for my latest baking project. They’re relatively cheap and readily available, and as a result, I’d always taken them for granted.

It wasn’t until we finally had our own chickens that I came to appreciate how special and precious eggs really are. And whenever possible, and because we now can, I want to eat eggs from chooks I know.

Our hens do much more than just lay eggs – their primary function is actually to garden.  They dig up the spent beds, eat all the grubs and weeds, fertilise the soil, and then move onto the next patch.  The eggs are an added bonus!

Some of our chickens lay quite distinct eggs, and it always makes me happy to be able to match an egg to the chook who laid it!

Francesca’s eggs, for example, are always different from the rest, just as she is different from the rest of the flock.  They’re smaller, darker and always a little speckled.  I save these for my mum, because she loves the more petite size…

Bertha, on the other hand, lays the lightest coloured eggs, and occasionally the shell will be rough and quite pale.  We think she has a dodgy shell-gland, so her eggs aren’t usually as picture perfect as the others.   She has, on occasion, laid a shell-less egg, although she’s been in good form for months now…

Finally, it’s always easy to pick Queenie’s egg.  Our dominant hen rules the roost like a dictator, and will always insist on first pass at any protein that comes into the coop.  Her eggs are always the largest of the clutch, dwarfing Frannie’s little dark ones…

Every time I crack open one of our homegrown eggs, I feel a little wave of gratitude.  It’s like a tiny bubble of joy – I ponder whose egg it might be, admire the colour of the yolk, and think about how blessed I am to have something so fresh and magnificent to feed to my loved ones.

I know this all sounds like the ramblings of a chicken-obsessed madwoman.

I also know that it’s not possible for most people to have chickens, and I realise how incredibly fortunate we really are.

I hope though, that the next time you’re baking, you’ll spend a moment admiring the wondrousness of the humble egg, spare a thought for the chook who laid it, and thoroughly enjoy eating whatever you create with it!

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