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Monday, September 12, 2011

Oh, Them Eggs...

...they remind me of a chicken and I'd rather have a chicken than eggs. (Martin Mull)

Our neighbors have both, and when they went off for the weekend, they asked us to make sure the door to the chickens' temporary home was partially opened in the morning and closed at night - and, we got to keep any eggs the hens laid overnight. Easy to do.

While their roosting box is being finished, the chickens are living in a large shed, with a 2" x 4" roost, some hay bales on which to lay, and a concrete floor where a couple of eggs (and a lot of chicken droppings) ended up. But there on the hay, on the second night of our chicken sitting, were three eggs: one large and light blue; one small and light brown; one larger and a darker brown, with speckles.

When the neighbor lady came by to thank us (with a yummy loaf of bread and a delicious salami), we asked which hens produced which eggs. The blue egg was the product of an Ancona hen; the light-brown egg was laid by a New Hampshire Red; and the larger brown, speckled, egg is from a Black Sex Link hen (no, we'd never heard of them either). The Guinea hens came up empty.

The New Hampshire egg had a double yoke, but the three weren't enough for an omelet. So, I added a couple of grocery store chicken eggs to the mix. But, before I did, I had a chance to examine the different colors of the egg yolks. The New Hampshire double yolk was a dark yellow; the Black Sex was a bit lighter; the Ancona was even lighter; but the store-bought eggs were starkly brighter yellow, with a thinner consistency, and their shells were markedly thinner than the neighbors' eggs.

Too late, I realized I should not have scrambled them for an omelet (with cheddar, home-grown tomatoes, and home-picked morels). I should have fried them individually for a taste-off. But, I've been assured there are more local eggs in our future. A man can learn from his mistakes.

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