"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

Egg delicious

By on September 22, 2015 in Articles, Outdoor Fun, Pets with 0 Comments

Editor’s note: Here was another entry into our “Best Day” contest… enjoy!

By Lance Stegemann

Maybe it wasn’t the best day in the past eight years, but an omelet made from our own fresh eggs, ranks pretty high in my book.

My wife Barb and I saw some Rhode Island Red hens for sale in a Craigslist ad, and decided we were ready to take on the task of raising a few backyard birds.

The hens were still young, and not quite laying yet, which in chicken terms is known as a pullet.

The young woman I talked with on the phone lived in Cashmere and had a few chickens to sell. I told her we could only take four due to where we lived and what the city ordinances required. She told me that was just fine and to, “Come on out.”

That was the start of our productive little flock. We turned them loose in our garden area to search for bugs and leftover garden scraps. They were in a new-found paradise and worked the ground over looking to unearth that next delicacy lying just beneath the soil.

I had previously built a fairly elaborate chicken tractor and now we had the occupants to fill it. There was only one thing left for us to do, and that was to patiently wait until that first egg arrived.

Barb and I would trade off chores as we got home from work, with feeding, filling or cleaning out the water dish, and adding fresh bedding to the small mobile chicken coop.

A month went by, then another, and then yet another. September had arrived and every once in awhile, we’d ask one another if there was an egg in the nest yet. Finally, my wife called me at work: “Guess what?”

That’s when the egg laying took off and each hen followed suit as our backyard sounded off with another proud chorus of clucking.

Our eggs continued to get increasingly larger and each within its own unique shell in shades of brown. The yolks were a deep yellow-orange and some eggs produced twin yolks.

We had the most delicious egg dishes and Barb tried more recipes than I was able to keep track of.

My personal favorite, which isn’t even really a recipe at all, is the dirty egg. It’s simply an egg, cooked over easy, sprinkled with course ground pepper, and fried in sausage grease. That’s probably not what we’d consider healthy today, but it’s sure tasty!

We now have only one hen left from our original batch, but she continues to lay an egg almost daily.

Although we were a little skeptical at first if we’d have the time to care for a backyard flock, we found it to be relatively easy.

I believe we’ll be looking to connect with our friend in Cashmere next spring and hopefully she’ll have a few more of those productive little red hens.

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