We have chickens now. Robin's family had chickens when I met him almost thirty years ago, and I remember when my grandmother had chickens. But for me, well, it's the first time I've ever been a "chicken owner." Robin takes care of them and gathers the eggs most of the time since I have a lot to learn about chickens. I don't speak chicken yet, as I don't have a clue what all their sounds mean. Last summer, while I painted at the farmhouse with the windows open, I heard some really weird sounds coming from the hen house and chicken yard, sounds that could have easily come from some scary monster movie. I'm OK with gathering eggs as long as they are in plain sight, but I haven't yet gotten up the courage to reach in under a stubborn hen whose eyes are clearly telling me to leave her eggs alone.
But I love having eggs! They're smooth (mostly) and creamy white or brown (mostly) and they are just lovely in a pretty bowl or in the clear plastic bin in our frig. Every evening after supper, I clean the day's crop. If Robin has recently cleaned the nests and put in new straw or shavings, the eggs are basically clean and just need a quick wipe with a damp paper towel. Sometimes, though, the chickens break an egg in a nest, and it always seems to happen in the most popular one. Then I have several eggs coated with dried egg yolk. It takes a good bit of rubbing to get those clean. And then there are those with chicken poop. I know it's not too appetizing, but the poop almost always wipes off completely. Once the eggs are clean, I pack them away in cartons in the basement refrigerator. For a couple of months now we've been getting 6-12 eggs a day. When we have several dozen on hand, we sell share some and sell some.
We have some Bantam chickens ("banties" as Robin calls them), which are extra-little chickens with an extra lot of spunk.
They lay the cutest little eggs! When compared to some of the whoppers the other hens lay, they are really tiny. That's a nickel in the photo below, and an ordinary egg beside a banty egg.
I saved some of these "baby eggs" just for dying this Easter. It's been a long, long time since I dyed eggs. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process. It brought back memories of spooning vinegary bright-colored liquid over snow-white eggs in Mom's Blue Willow coffee cups.
Now these pretty little eggs are in the Easter basket that my other grandmother made for me when I was little. With Easter Sunday almost here, I'll be thinking about how perfectly eggs represent the Trinity: yolk, white, and shell, Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Three distinct entities of one whole. It's a simple yet lovely picture of the God who loved us enough to die for us. I hope your Easter morning is sweet with His great love, and I hope you have eggs!