Saturday, March 8, 2014

Loosening Up

A surprise awaited me when I stepped into the chicken coop a couple days ago.

Laying there atop the straw in the middle of the coop was a big white duck egg. We haven't seen a duck egg around these parts in a very long time. I don't know the last time Doris laid an egg; she's been freeloading on feed, water and shelter for some time now. That's OK. We still love her.

Because a few of our hens are laying some nice fat eggs these days, you may not see as big a difference as you typically would between the size of our duck vs. chicken eggs. But that dirty lighter egg right there in the middle is the sign that either Doris is back to laying, or one of our newcomers is finally loosening up a little. (Side Note: I gathered the eggs a little early in the day; we're getting 6 to 7 eggs per day from our 9 hens right now, which is allowing us to share with family and neighbors. I love the abundant laying season.)

Kristi, who we got the ducks from when she had to move to another town, said her little duck gang was laying regularly and she got eggs from them every day. Unless they've been burying eggs beneath the straw somewhere the last several weeks, they've been holding out on us. 

Today, though, I found two duck eggs, which tells me it isn't just Doris who's in on the action. 

I wonder if the girls are simply getting settled in and used to being around chickens, or if it's just because the weather is warming up and all farm animal systems seem to kick into gear at this time of year? Either way, I'm happy to see the new eggs showing up.

While I'm not as fond of duck eggs for fried eggs because the yolks are a bit sticky, I will include them in omelets with chicken eggs and they're fabulous for baking, somehow making everything you bake a little more special. A new bakery is opening in our town and I'm going to approach the owner to see if he's interested in buying duck eggs, since I know they are eagerly sought by pastry chefs and bakers.

One thing I can tell you for absolute certain -- I do not believe for one second that the eggs are coming from Mallory. I don't. No one's going to trick me on that front again. 

Love from the farm,