There are eggs falling out of my chickens.
Doesn’t that sound stupid? In all of my planning, reading, thinking and crooning about chickens for two solid years, not once did I deliberately calculate how many eggs we could expect in a week. My absolutely ignorant guestimate was a dozen, at best. The reality is now just over two dozen a week.
Pessimistically, I’d considered perhaps a chick would die in transport. (Each survived.)
Obtusely, I’d assumed the Polish, an unreliable layer, might not lay at all. (She’s laying on the regular.)
What’s coming out of our chickens is astounding, and we only have five. I say only because five teeny baby chicks seemed conservative in all my planning. It’s also the maximum number allowed on my lot by law. Here’s the thing about me: I’m of the all-or-nothing kind. If I get chickens, I get chickens. Now, I get eggs. Except … Nobody can eat 50 eggs.
In just five weeks and two days, our hens have laid 87 eggs, and that’s counting the first slow week of one or zero eggs per day. It’s also counting a handful that cracked and were unusable, and two failed eggs laid by one chicken in one day that were soft and ripped open. The photo illustrates the current fridge stash of 25 eggs.
Plan B – Hang a shingle and sell? Fortunately, Hubs has some work friends who want eggs.
Plan C – I guess we could eat more eggs (and live on frittatas), or even offer some to the neighbors to show our appreciation for them not kicking up a fuss over our unconventional suburban pets. Except, I’m not really the neighborly type, and the law allows our chickens whether they approve or not.
I can assure any beginner that in the first and most abundant year, five hens lay more eggs than a family of 4 can use. Yet, if we are suddenly stricken jobless and destitute, we will not starve. So, that’s somethin’. As egg laying decreases over the next few years, my hope is our matured hens will provide exactly what we need. So, here’s where I bargain that my whole hog chickeneering was just a matter of planning for our future.
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Photo: Rachel Hurd Anger