Cast and Crew

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Egg and I

Whilst walking the dogs this morning (in the dark, in the rain), we discussed the timeline for the remaining chickens on our City Chicken Farm to begin spittin' out the goods. I had originally calculated next Monday, January 18th, as their "due date," with the implied understanding that everyone would endeavor to be on schedule. Chickens, as some of you may already know, begin laying eggs at 22 to 25 weeks of age. This number varies from one breed to another, and each individual bird has its own timeline, as well. Lots of people have asked about when the girls would begin laying, especially now that Ursula (yes, it has been confirmed that all 14 of the most recent eggs collected are the progeny of our dear Urs) has set the tone. The egg I collected from her yesterday in the early afternoon was still warm. The other four have been cackling, eating everything in sight, and getting extremely bossy. I'm assuming they've read their calendar, and they know their time is coming. So, just in case any of you ladies are reading this (Ingrid, this means you), I have one clear message for you. .... ahem.....


Thank you.

After returning from our morning constitutional with the pups, Aimee peeked into the coop, whereupon she discovered this...

Aimee also found a second egg (actually, it was most likely the first) which was broken and in a sad state. Both had extremely soft shells. It's difficult to convey with a digital camera what these eggshells feel like,  but if you've ever touched reptile eggs, these are very similar.

The shell is pliable and soft, slightly leathery to the touch. They are clearly delicate, and the one above was rolled into my hand in an effort to keep it intact. Here you can see it beside Ursula's egg from yesterday. They're similar in size, but the color and pallor are nothing alike. Raquel's egg (for it is, indeed, hers) is nearly translucent. You can see the yolk glowing inside. Fascinating. Here's what we think happened. Due to the location of both eggs, we hypothesize that the first egg was actually dropped from the roosting perch. It landed in a splat along with everything else that drops from that location nightly. Have I mentioned birds are messy? The second egg was in the same location (not in one of the nest boxes), and both were being intensely watched over by the culprit herself. She wandered off to eat when I cleaned everything up.

We have two laying chickens! Three to go.

In other news, the farm here at work is coming along nicely. The guard goose is doing a good job keeping the sheep in line, the pigs are finally minding their own business and not harassing the horses, and the solitary cow is making good ground with her bale of hay. We're all looking forward to the spring tilling and planting.

If you're ever in my office, please feel free to rake the sand or feed the animals. Everyone is welcome on this farm.


  1. Are you ever going to get rid of those damn pumpkins??

  2. I have often experienced the rubbery/soft/translucent shell issue on the first few eggs laid by a hen. As long as their calcium intake is good, this should resolve quickly. I see it as a sort of "test drive" of their system. Like a new oven, one needs to work out the finer points. I am sure they will be laying less delicate hen fruits soon.


Shout out to the peeps.


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