Thursday, July 10, 2008

The size of things

When we had 20+ chickens, it was often impossible to tell who was laying what. I never was sure which individual was laying the pinkies in the egg picture above (in the the new header)1.

When you only have two chickens, it's easy to tell the difference in the eggs.

On the left is an egg from the Marans hen. They're supposed to be very dark eggs, but sometimes they turn out speckled. You don't find chickens advertised as laying spotted eggs, but most of our hatchery Marans did, from time to time.

On the right is an egg from the Easter Egger. They are usually green or blue. This one is such a pale green that it didn't come through well in the photo.

Common wisdom has it that chickens lay fewer, but larger, eggs as they age. I've found that to be true for all the types we've had except the Marans. Hers continue to be smallish, but she's laying more often now than ever. All our chickens' eggs have gotten lighter in color each successive season.


1That seems to be the picture that people remember most from the blog. (Every time I look at it, it bothers me that I didn't get them lined up a little straighter.) It was from my first month of blogging, so I suppose you could say it's been all downhill from there. Click here for the larger, right-side-up original version.


NCmountainwoman said...

Actually, I don't see any problem with the photo, although I do love the one with the eggs lined up.

I think chickens, like people, often defy the common wisdom and do their own thing.

Gail said...

I never knew...but then I did grow up in the city and haven't really been around chickens! It's fascinating to learn!

I like the header. What did you do so that your photo is not half the page?


robin andrea said...

Great new header! Wonderful egg lesson too.

Annie in Austin said...

All my chicken-type knowledge comes from blogs like yours, Rurality - and with the covenants in my neighborhood I'll have no chance to find out firsthand. But the idea of eggs with pale green shells is lovely!

Some old bloggers are like hens - we lay fewer but larger posts. Ha.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Anonymous said...

whenever I read your blog I start wanting to have chickens.

Anonymous said...

Although my parents tell me I was six before I saw a chicken for the first time, I did live briefly on a farm right after college. I liked the chickens. While not care-free, they were relatively low maintenance and rewarding to have around. And it was nice having fresh eggs.

Kathi D said...

Do you know why the eggs get paler over time? The hens give up their own body coloring to the egg shells. The hens get paler over time, too.

The Riverbum said...

Until very recently, I had a small flock of Buff Orpingtons and Jersey Black Giants, and loved the huge eggs. The birds were semi-free range and I loved the rich tasting eggs.

Rurality said...

NCMW, you may be right!

Gail, we didn't know a thing about chickens before we moved out to the country, but it's been fun to learn. As for the photo, I just made it the same size as the original banner. I think it was 660 x 100 pixels.

Robin, thanks!

Annie, LOL, old hens, I can relate. :)

Bill, some days I want more of them, other days I'm glad I only have to feed a couple of them.

Wren, when we first had them, they stayed in the yard and were lots of fun to watch. Nowdays they are usually in the woods, which is no fun at all...

Kathi, well I knew that the combs and feet lost color along with the eggs, but I'd love to read a scientific explanation for it sometime. I wonder if it has anything to do with calcium production...?

Riverbum, we've never had the Jersey Giants but someone else told me recently that they really liked them.