Tuesday, August 27, 2013

EGG DAY!

We have been counting down for months...
We knew that the day was getting close...
The anticipation has almost been too much to bear...
But finally, EGG DAY IS HERE!!!!

As first time chicken owners, we have had our share of struggles getting started. From a total of 25 chicks that we began with, we now have 12 that have made it to adulthood. 

Meet Brandy Jr., our super lovable, very friendly, cuddly, and beautiful Buff Orpington. 


She has a pretty tragic story. She was one of our original flock of 7 Buff Orpingtons. Three of her sisters disappeared, some escaped under the fence to become snacks for predators and some were taken straight from the yard by birds of prey. She and three sisters survived the tough world or urban free ranging and had made it to their three month old birthday when a neighbor's dog dug under our fence and killed all of Brandy's sisters. There were feathers everywhere and it was such a devastating day to see our pets lifeless on the ground. We thought that the entire flock had been lost, but we soon discovered Brandy playing dead in the bushes! We had one baby left!


We have since started two new flocks of chickens, Americaunas and more Buff Orpingtons, and they have all flocked together but left out poor Brandy. She didn't really fit in with her new sisters. While they were skittish, she loved to sit with us and be petted. Far ahead of our other chicks, we counted down to Brandy's egg day for months! We had read about the signs, and she had them all- her comb and wattles were turning red, her hips were widening, and she was getting more vocal. Then we saw the tell-tale "egg squat" where she squatted down, lifted her tail and slightly spread her wings when petted. 

We made her a beautiful new nesting box and put in a ceramic egg. Six days after the first egg squat and at 22 weeks old, Brandy decided to plop down in the nesting box and get down to business. 
Right on time, you good girl!



Of course when it came time for her to choose a nesting box, she picked the disgusting plastic makeshift one we had put in there until the real ones were finished...


But who could complain when lo and behold, the first egg appears!!!!!


There is no feeling like a first egg! I hope Brandy feels accomplished, but not too overwhelmed- we have to do this again day after tomorrow!

So what did we do with the egg? Ate it that very day, that's what! I hear that the eggs get larger and more regular with time, but here is a comparison of a regular store bought egg to Brandy's handiwork.


I couldn't wait to see what the inside looked like. As you can see, the yolk is much darker in color that the pale yellow of store bought eggs. (That's where all the free ranging in my garden pays off). 


So you want to know...how did it taste??? Well, it tasted just as amazing as everything I could have hoped and dreamed :) Definitely worth the wait!