Sunday, July 29, 2012


First of all, I need to say a great big thank you to our girls!  They provided us with the most delicious eggs to make french toast for all of our friends and family on the morning after our wedding.

Clearly, they are working hard.  They are working SO hard, in fact, that when we checked on them one morning, there were THREE chickens in the nesting box all at once.  (Actually, there were four when we peeked in, but when we opened the back door, only three stayed put.)

See Farrah Fawcett underneath Elizabeth and Beth?
We needed to collect the eggs, and we thought the gals would scoot when Jon reached in, but they didn't.  After a few minutes, one of the three took a stroll, but clearly when it's time to work, the girls take their job very seriously!

Most of the girls lay in the boxes now.  Or should I say box?  They like the one at the end.  I honestly think that if we find an egg in the second box (as we did this particular day), it's by accident that someone dropped it there.  Finding six to eight eggs in a single nesting box is fine with us.  It's more trouble when one of the girls (and there are one or two) who prefer to lay their eggs on the ground!

With Abby away in Indiana visiting her Nana and Grandpa, I've got to go into the four-foot high tractor to collect these wayward eggs!
All in all, we are enjoying the girls very much.  They are fun to visit each day.  They get excited when they see us coming, probably because they always get a treat of corn scratch, Japanese Beetles, or veggie scraps.  It still feels good to see them get fired up as we walk across the field.  And I still think one chicken in particular is really fond of us.

This is Betty.  I can tell by the markings on her beak.  She nearly always comes up to us wherever we are standing, even if it's at the window.
The girls are in their fourth week of production, and their numbers have gone up significantly.  For example, in week one, we got a total of ten eggs.  Today alone, July 29th, we got a total of ten!  It was the biggest day yet, but the girls are averaging eight eggs a day now.

Most of the eggs are medium sized, ranging from 1 and 3/4 ounce to 1 and 7/8 ounce.  But so far this week we've gotten nine large eggs (2 ounces), with two days to go.  Last week we got a total of five.  In the first two weeks, we got a total of three larges.  So production is up and so is egg size!  Go, girls, go!

If you are in the neighborhood and you need some eggs...give us a shout!

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Chicken Whisperer

Abby loves the chickens.  And she is just the right size to go into the tractor to collect wayward eggs and visit with the girls.

She likes to give them hugs.  She hugs the chickens.  And they suffer it with a quiet sort of dignity.  It's pretty amazing.

We are getting more and more eggs.  We've got three and a half dozen saved up for Sunday morning breakfast after the wedding (we've got a farmhouse full of guests to feed). (And yup.  Jon and I are getting married.  Tomorrow!  Weeee!!!)

"We were so happy to oblige."
We are very grateful for their output just in time for the wedding!  We have shown our gratitude by sharing veggie scraps with the girls, who find them a delicious treat.

And all the while we keep track of what we get, when we get it, and how big the eggs are.

Aren't these just beautiful?
Thanks to Auntie Jay for the fabulous photos!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A dozen

We've gotten more than a dozen eggs so far, but seeing this full carton this afternoon made me smile.

Thursday, July 12, 2012 did she do that?

As we mentioned earlier, the first few eggs from a chicken can be large or small, perfect or...strange.  We got a strange one last night.  Check it out:

Breakfast for Dinner

By last Monday evening, we had six eggs in the carton, so it was definitely time to make a meal.

The yolks are a beautiful dark yellow.

I followed a recipe for Three Egg Quiche, but with mostly mediums and a small on hand, I opted to use five eggs.

The finished product!

The quiche came out great.  I'm not a breakfast-for-dinner kind of gal, but this was one of the best meals ever!

Abby is not a fan of broccoli and cheese quiche (ridiculous) so I made her a fried egg with the one large egg we had.  Didn't get a photo, but when we cracked it open it had two yolks.  Very cool.  She ate every bite and asked for more.  I told her she had to ask the girls.  They have since obliged.

Week 1 Stats

After the girls' first week of laying, we can report the following results:

Small eggs: 2
Medium eggs: 5
Large eggs: 1
Extra large eggs: 1
Jumbo eggs: 1  (Really!  We were so impressed.  Jon says we've got an over-achiever.)

Total: 10!  Not bad for their first week on the job.

Week two (which began yesterday) got off to a great start with 5!

Rock on, girlfriends!

Monday, July 9, 2012


As you know, the gals have begun to lay.  The early stages of this time can be unpredictable.  The girls don't know where to lay--we have so far found eggs everywhere except in the nesting boxes.  And they are such nice boxes!

Unfortunately, the girls think this is is a salad bar and not so much a place to lay eggs.  But we're working on convincing them!

The other question mark that comes with early laying is the condition and size of the eggs.  We've been lucky.  Most of our eggs have been solid and ready to go.  One was kind  More membrane than shell.  Strange!  Only a couple have been cracked even a little.  As for size, early chickens' eggs are likely to be on the small side.  According to our resources, early eggs can be the size of robins' eggs.  This has made me quite curious about egg size, and so I've begun weighing ours.

See that?  1.75 ounces.

Check this out:

1.25 ounces = peewee eggs (Seriously.)
1.5 ounces = small
1.75 ounces = medium
2 ounces = large
2.25 ounces = extra large
2.5 ounces = jumbo

So far, we've had one egg cracked beyond use, and the others weigh in as follows:

small: 1 egg
medium: 4 eggs
large: 1 egg

That's right!  We got our first large egg today.  Abby and I did a noon-time check in.

The one on the right (surprise) is the large egg.  The other is no slouch...technically between medium and large!
Tonight for dinner?  SOMETHING with eggs.  Maybe quiche!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Who Dunnit?

First of all, sorry for the long silence.  I'll be honest with you--there hasn't been much to report in the world of the Inman chicks.  I should have posted when they made the move from the backyard to the farm field across the street, but really, they looked the same, the tractor looked the same, and we were really happy that the wheels didn't come off en route.

I don't see the girls as much as I'd like.  It was easier when they were in the backyard.  Jon checks on them nearly every day, shlepping food and water out there.  Abby likes to visit them, too.  Ok, so now I'm thinking of several things I need to photograph and update, and I'll try to get on that.  But today's post is about a mystery!

First, the setting.  Here is where the girls have been living for the last month and a half or so:

That's Dale and Finn, working in the garden.
The idea of the chicken tractor is to move it every so often so the girls get a new patch of grass beneath their ginormous feet.  It's slowly making its way around the garden.

Here is another view of the setting.

Everything seemed pretty normal.  The girls were chillin' below the coop:

Hmmm....Do they look sleepier than usual?

And then, upon closer inspection, something unusual was spotted in the coop:

Look closely in the back left corner.  What do you see?

Yes, a full three weeks before we expected, there they were, 3 eggs.


Ok, so who did it!?

The line-up

Of course, there is no way to solve this mystery.  We just know that 3 of our girls were busy yesterday!  And we can only assume the others will follow suit soon.  Of course, there are no nesting boxes yet.  I mean, where was the rush!?  Guess Jon has to get on that!

The first gathering

A perfect egg

Thanks, Girls!  Happy Fourth of July!