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Filtering by Category: Chickens

Our first egg!


I found our first egg yesterday!

It was such a surprise as it wasn't laid in the nesting box and we were not expecting eggs yet. Chickens start laying their first eggs after five and half months so the eggs were due next week. When we  let the chickens out this morning  we found our second egg!

The second egg is a little bigger than the first egg but neither is quite to size yet. We don’t know which chicken is laying the egg; any idea how to figure that out?

We couldn’t wait to have our first egg for breakfast; we compared it to the organic, free range eggs that I buy at the farmers' market, which is at the bottom of this photo. Our egg is at the top.

Our egg was small, but otherwise it looked just like the eggs that I grew up eating in Calabria. The yolk was an intense orange and the taste …well what can I say? There was no comparison. I fixed it the way I always loved to eat them when I was a kid, fried in extra virgin olive oil, sunny side up.

Here is a picture of our chickens, all grown up now.

Our challenge now is to teach the chickens to lay their eggs in their cozy nesting box!  Any suggestions?

Chickens in my backyard


According to my mother, the only thing that was missing from my backyard was chickens. I am always talking about the eggs that I used to eat when I grew up in Calabria: the yolk was as orange as the sunrise and the eggs were so tasty that she would often whip a raw egg yolk with sugar and coffee for me as a snack. A couple of weeks ago she came up with a brilliant idea: the area below the staircase leading into the garden was unused and right next to the fruit trees, where we don't grow any vegetables. We could build a coop there! This would give the chickens lots of room to roam around, would use wasted space, and they could fertilize the trees.

It became a family project and since none of us knows anything about carpentry it was an interesting adventure.

Here's the unused area under the stairs where we decided to build the coop:

The bottom floor is made with extra bricks that my parents had in their garden.

Framing the second level:

The nesting boxes:

Our chickens' new villa. Not quite finished, because it still needs some trim and maybe a coat of paint.

We finished the coop on the very day we had made an appointment to pick up some chickens. We decided that we would get four hens so we could have eggs right away, and each hen of a different breed so that we could have a colorful mix of eggshells. It was difficult to find a farm that sells hens--most people buy chicks that are few days old. After looking around I found TruNorth Farms, which sold us ten-week-old pullets. Because they are so young it will be three to four months before they will lay their first eggs.

Meet our chickens:

Violetta, a Blue Wyandotte

Fluffy, a Buff Cochin with feathered feet

Favetta, a Barred Plymouth Rock

and Gelsomina, an Ameraucana

I can't wait till that very first egg shows up in the nesting box!