On a cold, rainy Tuesday in early June, I rushed to the post office to pick up 10 chicks. Yep, I’d ordered baby chicks online and the day they hatched, they were shipped to me — via USPS in a cardboard box with holes poked in it! For about six weeks, I had them in a brooder, which was really just a large plastic tub with a heat lamp over it. It’s safe to say that I was obsessed with them.
Only six were for us; I was raising four for friends. Eventually, our six girls were big enough to move into their coop — a beautiful chicken home my brother-in-law and nephew built for us.
Since then, I’ve been doting on them, feeding them table scraps as treats, and waiting patiently (okay, perhaps not quite so patiently) for our first egg. And then, last week, it finally came!
I went out in the morning to check on them after the temperature had dropped more than 40 degrees overnight. I know that sudden changes in weather can be stressful, and even deadly, for chickens, so I was thrilled when I opened their little pop door and they all waddled down their little ladder. Though they are all “especially cold hardy” breeds, I was half expecting them to be dead. What I was not expecting was my Buff Orpington, Buffy, to squat and drop an egg in the middle of their run.
I was overjoyed. It was a perfectly imperfect, beautiful, speckled, little brown egg.
Then, within a couple of hours, I found another one in the nesting box (where the chickens are supposed to lay their eggs). I suspect it was from our Black Jersey Giant, Snooki Elizabeth Fopkins (long name, long story) who’d been hanging out in the nesting box all morning. I wanted to eat them, but I waited until my husband got home from work so I could show him — because I was so freaking excited! Since we were going out to eat that night, I decided to save them for the morning when I found a third egg!
Since then, I’ve been finding one to two eggs a day — which, for six very young hens in this cold weather, is really quite impressive.
In case you’re wondering, yes, we’ve been eating them all — fried with runny yolks. And they are so, so good.