Sunday, October 26, 2008

Gertrude lays an egg

Gertrude the bantie laid her first egg on Friday, and followed it up with an egg Sunday. They're very cute eggs, if it's possible for an egg to be cute -- small, and with a hint of light beige in the shell. In this picture, the top egg is Wilma's and the bottom egg is Gertrude's.

She has an entirely different nesting habit from Wilma. When she wants to lay an egg, she kicks ALL of the nesting material out of the box first. It's a bit messy.

One chicken to go! Mathilda might not begin laying until the spring. She is the biggest bird of the three, and I wonder if her eggs will be larger, too.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin pie with fresh eggs

A new experience: Skipping the egg rack at the grocery store as I gather the ingredients for a pumpkin pie. I know Wilma has laid four eggs in the last four days, so I don't need to stock up at the store!

If you need an egg for a dish, just wait a few hours -- Wilma will produce.

We think that Gertrude, the bantie, will be the next chicken to start laying -- indeed, I'm checking both nesting boxes every day now, in hopes that she'll lay an egg soon. Her comb and wattles have come in now, and they're different from Wilma's. The comb is much shorter and lies closer to her head, and a bit of it sticks up in the back -- it looks like the jaunty hat that Robin Hood wore.

Since one chicken is named after my paternal grandmother, I probably should have named one of the others after my maternal grandmother, Helen. But Helen seemed too elegant and regal for a chicken, so I cast about and finally settled on Gertrude, who was one of my grandmother's best friends. It sounds like a good name for a chicken.

Last weekend we went out to a pumpkin farm in Snohomish to pick pumpkins for Halloween. There was a lot of corn lying around in the field -- it looked like they had picked most of it and then run over it with a tractor to make a parking spot for all the cars -- but there was plenty of less-than-grocery-quality corn still lying around, clearly going to waste. We picked a bunch up and have been feeding the chickens an ear of fresh corn a day. Of course they love it.