Since we’ve started our little farm, I sometimes find myself doing things I never expected I would; like gently herding little birds into their cage (with a broom no less!), or following a chicken around the yard to see if she was going to lay an egg. One of our golden comets had been exhibiting all the signs of being ready to lay, and I was convinced it was time, even though it seemed a tad early and unlikely.
Most pullets don’t start laying until 18-20 or more weeks old. Our girls just turned 16 weeks on Wednesday. This was Tuesday that this happened; but I had read that golden comets were one of the earliest and most prolific layers, and you could see first eggs as early as 16 weeks. This girl, who I now call “Mama”, is clearly an overachiever.
I read to watch for the comb and wattle to turn bright red, and for the chicken to squat down in front of you when approached. I’ve also heard they can make some noise before or after they lay. I was out checking on the guinea keets Tuesday morning when I heard some cackling in the pole barn. I found a chicken behind my potting bench just chattering away. She moved from there to behind the garage in a junk pile, all the while seemingly muttering to herself. (We bought our home “as is” – agreeing to clean out the previous owner’s mess, but it goes on and on…so we’re still working on that!). She also squatted down whenever I headed towards her, as she had been doing for several days.
The rest of the flock was nowhere around which also seemed unusual, because they usually stick together, at least a few, for the most part. Now I found myself telling her that I did not want her to lay her egg in that junk pile! She soon gave up on that, went back to the garage, barn and once to the flower garden. I picked her up and brought her in the coop to show her the nesting boxes we had put in over the weekend. She didn’t stay.
When she went back behind the garage, I gave up. Our cat Samantha had her annual checkup in the afternoon and I had things to get done before taking her. I keep my laptop on the dining room table now so I can keep watch out the window for anything that might go after the free ranging chickens. I kept one eye out for that girl as well (she had gone strangely quiet when I last left her too).
After a while, I saw her between the garage and barn, still being quiet. She wasn’t making any noise like I had read she might after laying so I wasn’t sure if she had or not. I went back behind the garage though, and sure enough, there it was – our first egg!! I quickly took some photos so I could send them to the Dadz at work, and found “Mama” (no need to tell her she probably won’t ever really be a mama!) and praised her. I also lightly scolded her for not using the nice boxes we had given her!
When we left for work Wednesday morning, the chickens stayed in their coop. They don’t free range when we’re working or gone from the house for long, so that is the norm. We wondered if she would produce her next egg in one of the boxes, and sure enough she did! Egg #2 was a bit smaller than the first one, but it is normal for their first eggs to be small. They don’t necessarily lay daily either, so it will be interesting to see what we get over the next few days, and if anyone else decides to join in the fun yet!
I’ve read some tips to get them to use the nesting boxes, and that now that one of them has used it, that will encourage the others to do so as well. But I’ve also been told by a reader that it’s not unusual for free range chickens to lay their eggs elsewhere, so we’ll still be keeping a close eye on things.
No one could wait to try our first eggs, so I got out a recipe I’d been wanting to try: Tomato, Kale, & Parmesan Baked Eggs. Not only could we add our own first two eggs to the fresh we had from another farm, but I was able to use kale and thyme from our own garden. By the end of summer, we should have almost all of our own fresh ingredients. Luke thought he should be in on this too, but he and Cricket only got to lick the plates. This recipe contains all dog safe ingredients, so next time I’ll make a little extra for them. 🙂
Some say the joy of waiting for the first eggs never gets old, so it’s probably a good thing we don’t have neighbors within sight that can watch the crazy lady following her chickens around the yard!
Do you have any favorite egg recipes? Please share in the comments below if so!
Thank you to Brian’s Home for hosting the Thankful Thursday blog hop. Please visit other blogs through the links below!
Jodi Stone says
I think that’s pretty cool. And fresh eggs just taste SO much better than store bought.
Edie Chase says
Congratulations on your first egg! I’ve been dealing with a sick kitty and missed some of your posts.
Thank you, Edie! I’m so sorry you’ve had a sick kitty – I hope he/she is better now?
Sand spring Chesapeake says
Yeah your first eggs! That egg dish looks delish
Barbara Rivers says
Sounds like a little easter egg hunt of sorts! Amazing that you can now eat your very own eggs, and organic ones!! Missy & Buzz get a fresh, organic egg twice to 3 times per week, and I use a fresh egg to make pancakes from scratch (unbleached organic flour, a little sugar, a dash of salt, organic milk, ground cinnamon & ground ginger). I recently discovered walnut oil and have been baking the pancakes in that. Delicious!
As soon as we start getting more eggs, the dogs will be getting them added to some of their meals as well. You’ve made me hungry now with all that talk of pancakes! I’ve never used walnut oil, that sounds good!
How exciting! I’m not a huge fan of eating eggs (unless they’re smothered in cheese), but that recipe looks delicious! I love that you were able to use so many ingredients from your own yard!
Cheese always makes everything better, doesn’t it? That and bacon. 🙂
Forest Poodles says
Yay for fresh eggs! They always seem like a gift!
Hubby got to collect his first egg today, and it was still warm! 🙂
Lynn LaChance says
Yipee!!! Congratulations! I’d be just as excited as you are.
The Island Cats says
You’re really going to enjoy having those fresh eggs!
We sure are! Now I can’t wait until they start coming more quickly than just one a day! 🙂
Jan, I just read an article in Modern Farmer that made me think of you – did you know there are farm tools made especially for women? They’re designed specifically to suit the way women use farm tools, which is apparently different from men! http://bit.ly/2vndfCL
I did not know that, isn’t that cool!? Thanks for sharing!
Jackie Bouchard says
So cool! Didn’t know they’d just kinda lay them anywhere – thought they needed to be on their little “nest” (or box or whatever…). #citygirl. That first meal with the eggs looks amazing. We make a lot of frittatas. Haven’t made one in a while – but haven’t wanted to turn the oven on! (And you’ve reminded me… I need to hard-boil some more eggs for the hubs… His fave thing to eat after he swims in the morning before work.)
Luckily someone told me because I didn’t know either! Our girl has now layed all of her eggs in the nesting box since though, and hopefully that will encourage the others when they start.
I am going to have to try a frittata then – I think I have a cookbook that came with an omelet pan once, I’m going to have to dig that out.
Brian Frum says
That’s pretty darn cool and I wonder who will be next? Thanks for joining the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!
Crystal Stewart says
How exciting and a double yoke in 1 egg to boot. The food you made with your own fresh eggs looked amazing.
caren gittleman says
How “eggciting!!” is THIS!!?? LOVE it! Love the vision of you chasing her around trying to see when she laid her first egg. I bet it was delicious! When I saw the title of this post I had to go and eat 2 hard boiled eggs lol!!! Mine aren’t as good as YOURS!
Hard boiled eggs are my favorite! Point of interest, that I learned from another farmer: if you boil fresh eggs they can be harder to peel, so it’s better to wait a few days. But I have a great method for boiling eggs that makes them easy to peel every time (which I’ll be trying with our eggs and seeing what happens too). Do you know the secret?
Two French Bulldogs says
How egg-citing!! Nothing better than fresh farm eggs
Lily & Edward
Ellen Pilch says
Congrats on the first eggs! I hope Samantha’s appointment went well.
Her appointment went VERY well!! I’m planning an update on her health next week, but the short story is that it’s all good! She still needs a blood pressure re-check, but judging by everything else, we’re not too worried about that. It’s more to just be sure we’re at the right level of meds for that.
GROOVY GOLDENDOODLES says
I’m sitting here at work reading this with the biggest silliest smile on my face! I am so happy for you. Tell me, do you really taste the difference in the egg?
Yes! I’d say it’s that the yolks are just that much richer. You see it when you crack them open and the yolk is orange, instead of pale yellow like the ones from the store. My hubby says our Rhode Island Red’s eggs will have an even darker yolk…almost reddish in color. We’ll see!
Well done Mama!! She certainly is an enthusiastic girl LOL. 🙂 Your baked egg dish looks yummy, and how exciting that you could make it with some of your own fresh ingredients! I really enjoyed reading about how you can tell when a pullet is ready to lay, I didn’t know any of that. I find it interesting that Mama tried out several locations before deciding where to put her precious first egg! Thanks for the update, this was such a lovely way to start my day. 🙂
I am SO glad you enjoyed it! It’s going to be interesting to see if they all act the same way, I’ll keep you posted!
Roby Sweet says
How exciting! And the baked eggs look yummy 🙂
That would be exciting. We’ve never seen a chicken lay an egg and we never thought about they laying eggs if they were not in their nest. Good you are so attentive!
You don’t want to know how much time I’ve spent following that chicken around though! LOL. She seems to be going to the nesting box all the time now though, thank goodness.