Backyard Chickens

The First Egg of the Year

Kimora in her nest

My chickens stopped laying at the start of fall. It was expected of Iman, my ornamental Golden Laced Cochin, but unusual for Kimora, my highly productive Barred Rock. Last winter she still pumped out an egg or two a week, but between the heavy molting and the fowl pox, her body was just not up for it this season.

So imagine my surprise this week when I found her sitting patiently and quietly inside her nest, which I hadn’t seen her do in nearly four months…

And that can only mean one thing!

Kimora in her nest

After about 20 minutes — and a very loud and proud announcement of her new “delivery” — I opened the door to find a beautiful brown egg in the nest, still warm and just as solid and smooth as I’d remembered it. (I didn’t dare tell the chickens that we’ve been cheating on them all winter by buying other chickens’ eggs from the store.)

A beautiful brown egg from Kimora

Coincidentally, I’d just been relishing the longer days this past week and enjoying the fact that the sun does not go down at 4:30 in the afternoon anymore. It seems Kimora was on the same wavelength! (And she left us another gift in the nest the next day.)

The first eggs of the year

Now I’m just counting down the days until I catch Iman in the act.

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 »

26 Comments

  • JimS
    February 2, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    My family eats about a dozen eggs every other day. I so want to get chickens to at least help cut down how many we buy from the market. What do you think it costs (on average) per dozen? Have you figured it out, or do you not really care because you’re getting fresh, healthy eggs from happy chickens?

    Reply
    • Linda Ly
      February 2, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      I’ve never tried to figure it out. There are just too many indirect costs (as well as benefits) with raising chickens that it’s impossible to know how much a dozen homegrown eggs costs… e.g., the cost of the greens they share from my garden vs. the organic fertilizer, pest clean-up, and soil aeration they provide the garden beds each season. Backyard chicken owners aren’t really doing it to save money; they raise a flock for the experience of knowing how their food is produced and where it comes from. And many small flocks are treated as household pets.

      Reply
  • Isis Loran
    January 23, 2014 at 9:21 am

    That’s so exciting! Our chickens are still laying for some reason, even though many are molting and temperatures have reached the -20C/-4F. I keep waiting for the eggs to cease but alas no, I hope it happens soon as I was looking forward to the old fashioned signs of spring!

    Reply
    • Linda Ly
      January 23, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      Despite our very summery weather this winter, I still felt like this first egg was a sign of spring! It gives me hope for a new growing season.

      Reply
  • Su
    January 23, 2014 at 8:21 am

    Congratulations! You give me hope. Our Barred Rock, Molly, is the lone hold-out among our trio of hens when it comes to laying. I’d been wondering what her eggs would look like, too (she was born last spring)…and now I know. 🙂

    Reply
    • Linda Ly
      January 23, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      My Barred Rock lays 6-7 eggs per week… a very busy lady in peak season!

      Reply

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