Jun 5, 2012

The Chicken or the Egg

(What's the Word June 5---Fusion)

I have kept a few hens in the backyard for 15 years or so. They are not only fun to watch, but they provide us with fresh eggs. In the Spring, there are usually more eggs than we can eat, so I'll sell some cartons to people I know. Many people will pay decent money for fresh eggs, but the few dollars I get doesn't even begin to cover the expense of raising them.

This year we had something special happen. Our neighbor's rooster decided he liked our backyard better than his own, and since no one could catch him---not even the dog---we let him stay. All my hens have names. His name is Rooster.

Day 1
Rooster did what roosters do, and surprise, we now have one very adorable chick. Funny thing about hens, though, is they sometimes set on a nest with no eggs. This is called brooding. Opal was being broody, while Rocky was getting all the action, if you know what I mean. So I stole one of Rocky's eggs and stuck it under Opal. Opal is a white hen and Rocky is a black and white striped hen, so it seems kind of funny to see this little grey and white chick running after its white mother.

I keep track of a chick's age by how many adult feathers is has. The first feathers to pop up from the down are the wing feathers. Then some wee tail feathers start to sprout.

Day 2, all down
Day 4, wing feathers sprout

Day 5, overnight winglets

Day 7, look how mature those wings look now

Part of keeping hens, as I've said, is collecting the fresh eggs. Tonight I took a dozen to a woman in the Knotty Knitters group. I mentioned that I only could get her 11 eggs, due to a number of things. I started digging in my project bag, and lo and behold, there was another egg. Only this one had been crushed and made an awful mess. Lord only knows how it got there and how long it had been there. But there was a fusion of yarn, thread, hooks, and other miscellany glued as only an egg can glue.
Upper left, my project bag soaking; bottom left, some of the congealed mess; right, the offending egg.
Having chickens has been so fascinating, sometimes frustrating, and always educational. There have been many tragedies along the way, as well. However, the joy I get from my hens will have me keeping them for as long as I am able.


  1. I found an egg in my craft room once, I'm not sure how it got there. They are sneaky buggers, once I put my brand new cell phone in my pocket with an egg, needless to say the egg broke, that was pretty nasty. Your chick looks very happy! Thanks for sharing at What's Cluckin!

    1. Today I found one in the backpack my daughter had left outside! And yep, I've done the old put-the-egg-in-the-pocket and then bend over to pick something up. What a mess. At least I didn't have anything in that pocket.


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