Monday, July 25, 2011


I was all hyped up to blog about my first canning experience - and I will! - but something very extraordinary has taken precedence. This weekend, we brought home two more ladies to join our growing flock of hens. Two beautiful, auburn, rhode-island reds. With a suggestion of the name "Rhoda" from a friend, we decided to name the other one "Mary". If you've got the same warped sense of humor as I do, you've probably seen the movie "Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion". There's a point in the film where Romy & Michelle are arguing about who's the prettiest, while envisioning themselves elderly, and they're saying "No! I'm the Mary. You're the Rhoda!" Unless you've seen it, you're probably wondering how you'll ever get back the last few seconds. If you HAVE seen it, you get it!

Anyway, being that 'Mary' is the one they both wanted to be, we named the hen with the perfect comb, Mary. And the one with the uneven comb, Rhoda.

Meet Mary.

Rhoda & Mary

I anticipated that it would be a few days before they would lay, due to the stress of transporting them from north Appleton. However, we were surprised the very next day when Rhoda gave us a single light brown egg! Vanessa was on cloud nine - my little chicken farmer. Prior to the big event, she'd been checking the next boxes feverishly. Possibly prolonging the egg laying process for lack of privacy. But at long last, she excitedly carries the egg to the house to show the others. I was so worried she was going to drop or crush it from all her exuberation! But, it made it safely inside for show and tell and to be placed in the fridge. There was discussion as to who would eat the first egg, and we decided until we'd wait until we had 5 eggs and then each have one for breakfast.

Vanessa heading in to check the next boxes. For the 100th time.

A peek inside at the favorite spot to nest.

Well, waddaya know!

The very first Hilfarm egg.

Look how proud she looks!

As if that surprise wasn't enough, today we heard some ruckus coming from the run this afternoon. A friend, and fellow chicken farmer, recently told me that her hens make a lot of racket after laying as if to show off. So, I immediately ran to the next boxes and took a peek. Wouldn't you know! A small cream colored egg! I took it to show Jason and he said he'd seen our barred rock, Lacey, in the box I found it in. We decided to look some more and Jason spotted a second egg in the same box under some hay. A beautiful, small, light blue egg. Perfectly formed. A gift from our americana, Diamond. Looks like our new, mature ladies got the ball rolling in the egg-laying department!

Aren't they cute? I almost hate to cook them up!

I am thrilled, so say the least, that my hens are to the point of laying eggs. To know that I nurtured them along from wee pullets to the point where they're happy healthy and producing eggs as they're supposed to is very fulfilling. And it only adds to my joy when I walk out to the coop and they all come running to the fence to see what treat I've brought for them. They trust me. And now they're providing for me and my family. My pioneer spirit is filled with joy.

One last picture of Vanessa with our Americana, Kitty Hawk. She carries this one around like a baby and the silly bird puts up with it.


colette said...

congrats on the eggs!! :) makes me want to get some hens.

i've got to say, i'm surprised to hear you've just started canning. i thought you'd be a canning pro!

hollyfarm said...

Vanessa the chicken whisperer...
Wait until you start getting double yokers, it's like Christmas in a pan!

cafejojo said...

How fun! I wish I could have chickens! My friend has 4 and am amazed at the chicken stories I hear. :)