The First Egg

Today is a momentous day. Today, nestled in the straw inside the special box attached to the chicken coop, I found a perfectly formed, brown speckled egg. My heart leapt for joy, to use a well worn cliche. But it’s true. It really did. I think I even swore but let’s not repeat that.

First egg

I had the afternoon off and so on arriving home at lunch time, I went to let the Girls out for a run and checked the box, as I always do in the hope that maybe it might have happened, expecting to see just the usual clumps of poo and feathers in the straw.

The wait is over. At 20 weeks, one of our Girls has done just what nature intended and it’s thrilling. It’s on the small side. Fellow chicken keeper Evcricket declared ‘where’s the rest of it?’ after I told him it weighed a mere 43g (a little smaller than the smallest of shop bought eggs). Give them time, Ev! They’re still young!

After reading stories of chickens who take months to start laying, or who lay funny misshapen non-eggs at first, or who lay them in funny hidden places, I was prepared for all sorts of outcomes. I didn’t really expect that a perfect little egg would show up, in the box, resting in a chicken shaped hollow in the straw.

Of course there is much speculation now about what to do with the egg. My mother said days ago she thought the first one should be bronzed. Alison at MachenMachen suggested today I suck the egg out and keep the shell – which is not as unappealing an idea as you might think. Bianca at Sadie and Lance, who just experienced her own first chicken eggs, said nothing beats poaching that first perfect egg and I’m inclined to follow suit. Soft boiled was my first thought but then I thought if I poach it, I’ll really be able to see it, to get a good look at the colour of the yoke and how it’s formed. Frying it would just be wrong. Fried eggs are nowhere near as beautiful as poached eggs.

What would be really, really nice is if another egg or two showed up tomorrow morning. My sister Adele and her little boy Willem arrive in an hour and I know they’re hoping for fresh eggs for breakfast. Wouldn’t that be lovely? Let’s hope.

In related news, that is, chicken news, I learned a valuable lesson today. I was in the coop in sandals and I had freshly painted bright red toenails. The girls went mad for my toes. They flapped and squawked like I had just taken their favourite treat, dried cranberries, into the coop.

Lesson learned. No more open toed shoes and red toe nails around the chickens!



25 thoughts on “The First Egg

  1. I actually asked ‘is the rest coming later’ :-p

    I find it oddly endearing the way the egg sizes change throughout their cycle. You get a feeling of being on the journey a little with them, particularly when you’ve only got a few birds and it’s possible to identify who laid what.

    Our Silky carries on like a pork chop when she lays her 7 eggs a month. I think 43g would be a very big for her and we’d never hear the last of it.

    Also recently, one of our birds was in the nest box for literally hours. We checked in with her later and found out why… a 115g egg! It was of course a double yoker too.


  2. Hooray! Congratulations!

    There really is nothing quite like the first egg – and your girls have done themselves proud.

    We had our first day of 34 eggs collected today. I’m holding out hope for 36 a day in the near future – nearly everyone had come into lay now, and so I’m hoping it’s realistic!

    Oh – and about the toes – they get used to it. I will say my girls have been partial to my very blue sparkly toe nail polish in the past! 🙂

  3. And I thought that dogs licking toes was bad enough… thank you for the giggle, and I hope you enjoy the gloriously fresh food you are finding in your backyard.
    PS home-grown eggs make the best pancakes.

    • It definitely can. @CrazyBrave, who Bells also knows, has some chooks that got into the dog food. It did affect the taste of the eggs and not in a good way.

  4. Squeee! We need a photo of the egg in your hand so we know how big it is. Bon appetite!

    Try different colored polish and see what their favorite is. Green might look like crickets to them. Yellow could be corn. One never knows what a chicken is thinking.

  5. I’d like to see photos of the first egg cooked, too. It’s such a fascinating thing. And I laughed at the chickens going after your toenails. I don’t know what I imagined chickens ate (corn, I guess) but it wasn’t dried cranberries. Does what they eat affect the flavor of their eggs?

  6. I don’t know how you had the guts to go in there with open toes! I go in my mom’s coop and they eat my toes, shoelaces, and peck at anything that gets near them. I’m afraid they would think my toes were worms, even without the red polish!

  7. Oh I’m giving our girls some dried cranberries tomorrow. Their treat so far is sunflower seeds they love them.

    Yay for egg goodness – so thrilled for you!!

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