We have it marked on our calendar the very first day we came home with the 1 week old baby chicks, to mark their “birthday” but also to give us a countdown of when we can expect our first eggs from the hens. It usually takes around 6 months before the egg-laying begins, but we’re a family of over-achievers so we’ve been on watch since month 4.
The hens out to go fluff in the dirt, scratch in the straw and
peck at devour my garden. The hens LOVE to eat the lettuce, broccoli leaves, mustard green leaves and bok choy. They love it so much that I find sad bare stems at the end of the day. I used to get upset seeing those bare stems – nurturing a garden is hard work! But I’ve finally made peace with the hens’ appetite, I garden for them and for us. All I can say is that their eggs better be mighty tasty.
Before the kids head off to school, they’ll go outside and let the girls out. They are quite obedient and orderly, and will follow you in a single file line.
especially if they know you have a special treat (worms!) in your hand.
We also obsessively check the nesting boxes for any eggs. My friend, Jan gave us these wooden eggs to place in the nesting boxes to kinda give the hens a hint hint of what they’re supposed to do and where they’re supposed to do it. We have 3 nesting boxes, each with 2 wooden eggs.
So every morning, one of the boys will climb on top of the stool, lift up the top of the nesting box lid, peek in and count: box 1 with 2 wooden eggs, box 2 with 2 wooden eggs, box 3 with 2 wooden eggs.
Yesterday, box 1 check, box 2 check, box 3……
It’s the one on the left, the bright, peachy-pink egg.
We think it’s Oreo’s egg, as Scott spied her sitting in the nesting box earlier that morning.
Yes, this little Oreo, who just 5 months ago looked like this:
Awwwww….how fast she’s grown.
The egg is small, perfect, heavy. Not quite big enough for breakfast for 1, so we cooked the egg along with a store-bought organic egg. Can you tell which is which?
This morning, when we went to check on the hens and to let them out, we saw Fire Flapper sitting in the nesting box. I’ll report back if we find another egg!
Our chicken stories
I’ve always wanted a coop and these posts have influenced and encouraged my wife and children to build our own experience. Thank you. I enjoyed reading about your hard work and helpful tips.
Can you please have your husband email me his plans for that chicken coop he built. we are try to also build it
Sure no problem! Will send in a bit.
We are trying to build the chicken coup that you all build but we can not seem to find the actual directions you used. do you still have all of the measurements and all.
Are you still able to have your husband email me his chicken coop plans?
I didn’t find a place to ask for them on the Backyard Chicken Community.
Can you please have your husband email me his plans for that awesome chicken coop he built.
We have hens with the “easter egg” gene.. they lay tinted eggs.. Sortof a pretty blue/green color that layers over the “normal” color.. so I have tinted brown and white eggs. Of course, on the inside, they are just normal like any other. The only problem with fresh eggs is that they are really hard to peel. The ones in the store are a lot older by the time we get them home. I try to keep track of my eggs so that I only use “older” ones for boiling.
Urban farming is the term. A lot of people in population dense areas are raising chickens. The rule of thumb seems to be 5 hens no roosters under these settings. http://www.backyardchickens.com has lots of advice, mostly.
Jaden wonderful coop. Loved your DH’s discription on the above site. I love it when “My pet makes me breakfast.”
Hi Jaden! So glad to hear that you got your first egg!! It’s so exciting!! My pullets are not laying very many eggs right now as they are molting. I cannot wait until the eggs are prolific again. Congratulation!!
Oh, how I wish I could raise chickens. This is such a sweet post, Jaden, and that egg on the left is my vote for the fresh from the Oreo hen egg! 🙂
Jaden, your chickens are gorgeous! I am so envious. Would love to have a couple of our own, but… we’re not quite ready for an urban coop. 😉
There may be more people going into the chicken business now….another egg recall in IOWA…..the second one so far from there…..I just rec. an email stating this…..you can check it out at my-calorie-counter.com
My chickens started laying last August and I was so excited. They layed well until about a month ago when the days grew shorter. I looked in the nesting box this morning and there it was a beautiful bluish egg from one of the Ameracana hens. I picked it up and straight to the kitchen range to fix the first egg of this new year. It was the best, I can really tell a difference from the store bought eggs that I have been using the last month. My chickens are free range and they are fed organic soy-free layer feed. Congratulations to your hen for giving you the first egg to enjoy!!!!!!
So funny how they walk in a line like in a parade. So cute.
Your chickens and your garden is beautiful. I’ve busy and have missed your updates. I’ll have to go back a read through.
I miss having chickens. Now that we live in town I can’t have any!
YUM! My favorite, Eggs Oreo 😉 }:)>
Seriously, that is so great. Alexis wants chicks now.
So did the egg taste more like lettuce, broccoli leaves, mustard green leaves and bok choy or “treat worms” ?
I like the idea of mini eggs… might be fun to make bite sized deviled eggs! love the blue shell.
Hey there Jaden, as Sarah, Analog Girl, and Michelle write, new chickens always start out laying small eggs (my favorite) and over the course of a few months become “normal” sized. Eventually, old chickens end up laying very large eggs with double yolks. These are favored by some egg customers for the idea of getting more bang for the buck, but I prefer the smaller ones. In any case, most of our eggs are smaller than supermarket large, so I usually use 5 to 6 eggs where a recipe calls for 4–depending on size of course. By the way, your egg shells are beautiful. Love the blue. What is that Araucana?
Yes they (the eggs ) do get larger as the hens get older, usually are full size by the end of the 1st laying season ( if not sooner). finely after living in town ( that has laws against haveing any “farm animals”) we have moved to the country and I can now have chickens again!! I am loving it!!! and even after losing all but 1 of my hens to preditors,a friends has given me her extra eggs so we are still getting those delicious fresh eggs!!! 🙂 I so know who you feel getting your first eggs!!!!!
I was told recently that the eggs do start out smaller and will get larger as the chickens mature. You’re in for a real treat!!
I would guess the smaller white and darker yolk one. So cool that you’re eating what you grow!
Congratulations on the chickens, and on your first eggs. These eggs are much healthier than store eggs, and they are reverse cholesterol too. First eggs are always small. They’ll get larger as the hens lay more. But the small ones are so cute. I’ve had some no bigger than a marble! Congratulations!
I remember when we got our first egg–such an exciting day! Congratulations!
Hurrah for eggs! That is so cool! May your eggs be plentiful in the coming year! 🙂
yay! I remember how excited we were when we got our first egg! our girls just had their first molt and we were equally excited when they started laying again after that. you’ll know what I’m talking about next year!
That yolk looks so rich and beautiful. Enjoy the tons of eggs you will soon have 🙂
I’m guessing that the one on the left with the darker yolk is the fresh egg! Wow-za!
We bought our hens at 3 months old and I remember how hard it was to wait for that first egg. Before you know it they’ll all be laying and you’ll have more eggs than you’ll know what to do with. Our ladies are back in Umbria and I won’t get to see them again until May when we return. I really miss those extra fresh eggs every morning!
Look at that perfect egg on the left, with the firm snug white and the rich dark yolk! What a difference with a truly fresh egg from a hen that eats all sorts of goodies outdoors 😉
Aww so sweet! Oreo is so cute! I love this post and the picture of them in a single file line is so sweet. Congratulations!!!
THE ONE ON THE LEFT…..we used to have chicken too, but I would not eat their eggs !!! because I knew where they came from 🙂 as if other eggs came from where else lol…my dad would buy eggs also at the A & P and those are the only ones I would eat….now isn’t that funny ????? I rarely eat an egg now….I just don’t care for them….I have a sister who loves them and could eat them every day….I’m lucky if I eat one a mo……
And now after the egg scare we had mos. ago, I only buy EGGLAND BEST EGGS…….and always end up giving most of them to my daughter…..need eggs for cornbread, etc. but just eating them….not for me…..
How exciting!! I remember the day we ate our first chicken egg. I calculated it was a $175 scrambled egg breakfast – http://houndsinthekitchen.com/2010/03/21/the-175-scrambled-egg-breakfast/
Did you know that the yolk stays nearly the same size as the chickens grow? So the first eggs are more rich and yolky delicious.
That’s so exciting! I would love to have enough space for chickens. Is it the one on the left?
How exciting! We’re still waiting for our girls to lay…
Oh how I long for chickens of my own. I just want to cuddle the fluffy babies. Dang these maternal hormones kicking in!
They are beautiful birds. Congrats on the first egg of many!
Yay! That is exciting! I wish we could have chickens–apartment living is not conducive to that. Oh well. It’s fun to see them grow up!
I think its the one on the left! How exciting! Its like Christmas morning!!
This is sooo awesome and cute! How exciting it must be for your family! Keep us updated!
We’re in the process of building our own chicken coop and will get four chick when it’s all done. Would you mind posting some more and detailed pictures of your coop? We need some inspiration. Thanks Baden, love your posts!
This is an EGGcelent post, Jaden.
*the one on the left?
This really makes me want to live out in the open country. Your family looks like they’re having a blast. What a great family activity 🙂 I’d love to have my own chickens one day, thanks for sharing!