new flock of chicks on Easter Sunday this spring - eight of 'em. I'd say we got eight hens, but it turned out that the two Black Australorps were roosters. We enjoyed the crowing - sort of - but we don't want to feed any that don't feed us, so luckily a local took them off our hands. They wanted Black Australorps for breeding, so they're happy and we're happy.
We've been getting eggs since mid-July, starting with Owl, the Leghorn. She's been a laying machine, having only missed two days since she started laying. Buffy, the Buff Orpington, started laying a couple of weeks later and she's been pretty consistent too. Five days ago, Ruby, our Rhode Island Red, started laying beautiful darker brown eggs.
Today, I got a real surprise when I went out to gather eggs. There were FIVE! Yesterday, three, today, five! The new layers are the ISA brown and one of the Ameraucanas. That's the thing with having so many different breeds - we know who is laying and who isn't.
One of the new eggs today was blue, and since we have two Ameraucanas and they lay blue eggs, we know that one of them is the only one left to start laying. They're also the only two hens that don't have names.
|How about Dottie and Dinah?|
We ate our last store-bought egg about a week or so ago and I'm really glad to be back in the backyard egg business. I also love how beautiful these eggs are.
In spite of the differences in their colors, the shells themselves come in only two colors. That's right. Hens only lay eggs that are two basic colors - white and blue. "But what about the brown ones?" you say. If you look, the next time you crack open a brown egg, you'll find that it's white on the inside.
The brown coloring is a pigment that the hen applies to the outside of the egg shortly before she lays it. One time, I gathered an egg right after one of our first flock Buff Orpingtons had laid it and it was still wet. I wiped the moisture off and some of that brown coloring came off! But once it dries, it's on there for good.
We had scrambled eggs for supper tonight, so I took some photos to show you that it's true about the coloring.
But the yolks and whites inside all look the same. (They taste the same too.)