Pictured is a basket of duck eggs. Beside the basket, you'll see two tiny brown eggs, gifts from a precocious Lady Sussex.
Chris opened the brooder door on her recently and she looked shocked and dismayed that he would just blatantly walk in on her while she was doing her business. There she sat feeling indignant, in a tuft of bedding she had pulled together for a nest. Chris is pretty sure she shouted, "Uh, WHAT?! SHUT THE DOOR! I'M BUSY IN HERE!" (heavy sigh)
In her disgust, she may have laid her small brown chicken egg somewhere else that day. If so, we never found it.
With winter fast approaching, this presents us with two immediate problems:
(1) The hens don't yet see the chicken condo as home, just as a place to hang out during the day. They sleep in the tiny brooder house.
(2)The chicken condo needs nest boxes that are yet to be built and some more winterization.
Soon the little hens will make the permanent migration to the chicken condo with its greener pastures. It's right next door and they're used to it. They go to it through a wire tunnel every day, range around outside for awhile, then spend the rest of the day inside. Later, toward sundown, the pullets go back through a wire tunnel to their brooder house to sleep. They've become creatures of habit. You could set a clock by them. But now, with one laying eggs already, we are so unprepared!
Another first: Roosti-Roo, our one beautiful little Sussex rooster, has learned to crow!!! He's egg-cited , I think, so he's gearing up to serve the needs of 48 hens. Poor Roosti!
Our 4 duck hens are already giving us three eggs a day, two in their nesting box and one in their pool. The ducks are also creatures of habit, we're discovering, but they provide enough eggs that I've been able to make noodles, chocolate mousse, Hollandaise sauce, have eggs for breakfast, and still share some with friends and family!
The fact that the ducks supply our egg needs brings up another problem, not so immediate, but one that needs a solution: What to do with all the chicken eggs once the hens are laying regularly? I had looked at designing a "Farm Fresh Eggs" sign for in front of the house or barn. Now I'm thinking more and more about joining the local Farmer's Market. The people who go with eggs sell out so early! But if I do, what else should I provide? I thought about making aprons but Chris says they're not a farm product. Really? So then what? I thought about little pies: Pauley's Petite Pastries. Maybe. What do you think?