Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I am so happy to announce that we have our first egg!

We had decided to keep the chickens locked up in their new coop for a few days to let them get used to their new home. This will also give us time to get the electronet fencing moved and repositioned around the new coop.

At one point mid-morning the chickens started making such a racket. They had quieted down by the time I went out to check on them. One of the hens was spending time in corner of the nesting box. The rest of the chickens were sitting nicely on the roosts and seemingly watching her. When she moved and I was able to check the nesting box, there was a warm pinky brown egg sitting right there. It was like magic.

I've learned quite a bit about eggs lately. It apparently takes 25-26 hours for a new egg to be formed, so a hen will lay her egg later and later each day but not usually past about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. She may skip a day and then start laying again the next morning. This helps explain why you may only consistently get 5 eggs a day from 6 hens. This is just the way God made them. Hens deserve a day of rest, too.

It also is not necessary to wash eggs. A newly laid egg is coated with a natural anti-bacterial residue called "the bloom." So if the nesting boxes are kept clean and filled with clean litter, the eggs should not get dirty.

A word about egg color: the egg color is dependent upon the breed of the chicken. There is no nutritional difference between a brown and a white egg if the chickens are managed and fed the same. A brown egg is not inherently better for you than a white egg. The misunderstanding arises because industrial chicken production almost exclusively chooses the breeds that produce white eggs. White eggs are not bleached brown eggs, as some might suspect. There are a few breeds that produce blue, green and even dark brown eggs.

So far only one hen has started laying, but I'm hopeful the other six will see her example and start laying soon. 

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