The Great Egg Hunt

Our Flock 2013

No, not for Easter. This is sort of a year round thing on the homestead. Currently, we have 14 layers and, even though my husband built them a beautiful nest box, they seem to like laying eggs in odd places.

We have found eggs in the bushes, in the other barn in an old… um… I don’t know what it is. Some sort of contraption that should probably be in the trash.

My husband even found some in a box of stuff for electrochemical bore cleaning. (Do NOT ask me what that is. I have no clue. I asked Jeff what it was. That’s what he told me. It belonged to his dad so I assume it is related to guns. That’s all I can tell you.) Not necessarily a great place to lay a pile of eggs.

Eggs and Our Health

We eat quite a lot of eggs. I don’t give a rat’s patootie about claims about cholesterol either.

The fact is, eggs from free-range chickens like ours have:

  • 1/3 of the cholesterol and ¼ of the saturated fat of commercially produced eggs
  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 4 to 6 times more vitamin D
  • 7 times more beta carotene
  • 2 times more Omega-3 fatty acids than eggs from commercial chickens

Our eggs are healthy!

Anyhow, when we start getting 4 eggs a day from 14 hens, we know there is a nest someplace. The thing is, we are on 100 acres. So that leaves a lot of possibilities for hiding spots. That would be great if they actually stayed on the nest and hatched out some babies, but that has only happened once that we know of…

The Prodigal Chicken

Last summer, we had numerous chickens disappear, we thought because of a juvenile wolf I had seen on a couple of occasions. Well, one day while I was in the kitchen, I heard a relentless peeping sound. I looked out to see what was going on and only saw a hen huddled in front of the porch. Oddly, she wouldn’t move when the dogs went over to check her out. I went to see if she was okay and she got quite upset.

She was not injured, thankfully. She had 4 babies under her, hiding from the dogs. This was one of the hens we thought had become a wolf snack. She apparently decided to leave her cushy life in the coop and had hidden her nest in the woods, despite any predators. When the eggs hatched, she brought the babies home.

Made me wonder how many hens actually got eaten and how many decided to just live in the woods and not come home.

Mom and chicks.

Mom and chicks.

But, I digress.

Yesterday we did a fair bit of searching but only found a few eggs. Today, Jeff hit the jackpot. Apparently the chickens have taken a liking to the little house Jeff built for the pigs. And since we are now pigless, what better hiding place for a nest?

A full basket of eggs.

A full basket of eggs.

Happily, our egg basket is full again.

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