Backyard Chickens

It’s Eggs-citing Around Here

A freshly laid brown egg

On Wednesday afternoon, this egg was laid at exactly 2:15. At 2:16, I reached into the coop and made myself breakfast. How often can you say your breakfast was only one minute old? (Okay, maybe three minutes old by the time I cracked it open in the frying pan.)

That first egg a couple weeks ago was eggs-citing, to say the least. But what’s even more exciting is going away last weekend, and coming home a few days later to all three of my chickens laying!

Sniff, sniff… my little girls are all grown up now! Kimora and Iman’s beautiful brown eggs are just as smooth and perfect as Gisele’s, with bright orange yolks and hardy shells.

Brown eggs from my Barred Rock and Golden Laced Cochin

I usually wake up to eggs waiting for me in the coop each morning, and Wednesday was no different. When I unlocked the coop, I found a green egg sitting in the sleeping attic, Gisele’s favorite nook to lay. I usually find their eggs in every random place but the egg box… even the poop tray once. (It sounds gross, but seeing as everything comes out of the same “vent,” as chicken-keepers call it — poop, pee, eggs — it didn’t seem too unusual.)

I went about my daily chores in the garden, with the three amigas following me around as I cleaned out the coop, raked over the run, and watered the salad bar.

They were being exceptionally chatty that afternoon, especially Kimora, who was baaw-baaw-baaaaawk-ing louder and louder by the minute. She was pacing back and forth, flapping her wings in a frenzy. I picked her up and held her to calm her down. She wiggled free of my arms and darted across the ground. All of a sudden she disappeared into the coop, which was odd considering the chickens never go into their coop until sunset.


I peeked through the little window and saw her tip-toeing into the egg box, slowly and cautiously. I held my breath. She pushed aside the golf ball I had placed in there (a decoy to encourage egg laying) and nestled in next to it. She ducked her head and peeked back out at me.

Kimora goes into the egg box

I watched her sit inside the egg box for a few minutes. Every so often she spun around and nestled right back in. She pecked at the golf ball. She sat front-facing, then back-facing. She was calm and quiet. I didn’t really know what to make of it. Outside, Iman and Gisele were baaw-baaw-baaaaawk-ing, looking for their sister.

I tossed out a handful of scratch to keep the other two occupied while I figured out what to do with Kimora. By the time I turned my attention back to the window, Kimora was already emerging from the egg box. She skipped down the ladder and ran into the yard to rejoin her sisters, cool and collected. And then it caught my eye: Tucked into the corner, resting on the nest pad, was a fresh brown egg! I nearly squealed with excitement.

Not only had I practically witnessed my chicken laying an egg, but she had finally laid it in the egg box! Hooray!

Freshly laid brown egg

I forgot to mention something else at the beginning of my story. That minute-old egg, in itself incredible, was also warm. I had never felt a freshly laid egg before — straight from my own chicken’s butt! — and the warmth of its shell was surprising and amazing.

The homestead teaches me something new every day.

Linda Ly About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »