The Payoff


My backyard chicken project finally paid off: an egg! The hen who laid it, Dorito (pictured below), had not been selected by any of us in the first-layer pool, so through random selection my husband got to eat the first hen fruit, which he reported as delicious!


In retrospect, Dorito should have been an obvious pick in the pool as her comb and neck dooly-bobs are more developed than those of her peers. Stupidly, we all went with other indicators, like overall size or fondness for hanging out in the nest boxes.

We know who laid the first egg because we heard squawking, which my daughter went out to investigate. She then saw Dorito exiting the henhouse and found the still-very-warm egg, which she bore triumphantly to the kitchen.

That was midweek. Yesterday was the kiddo’s birthday, and she had requested last week that I take the day off so I could chauffeur and chaperone her and a friend to the Batman movie premiere (matinee, not midnight showing).

Despite receiving the news of the carnage in Colorado shortly after waking up, we decided to go to the Batman premiere anyway. We figured any would-be copycats would have to wait until the local gun shops and militia gear purveyors opened at nine o’clock and that it would take some time – even in Florida – to assemble the requisite high-capacity magazines, select a target, etc., so 11 a.m. moviegoers would be relatively safe.

And we were. The kids enjoyed the movie. My verdict: meh. Anne Hathaway is a good Catwoman, but she was the only bright spot as far as I’m concerned. I think the film was trying to make some half-baked point about the Occupy movement a time or two – a point that Rush Limbaugh could sympathize with if he weren’t focused on ginning up dumb outrage over the use of the name “Bane” for the villain.

Anyway, maybe I’m just shallow, but I enjoyed “The Avengers” a lot more.

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 07/21/12 at 09:48 AM • Permalink

Categories: CrittersFoodPoliticsNutters

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Congratulations! Let the laying commence!

“Hen fruit” reminded me of when I was a little girl and my mother took me to visit her aunt and uncle. My great uncle asked me if I wanted scrambled eggs for breakfast, and I replied that I did not like scrambled eggs.. He waited a moment, then said, “Well, how about cackleberries?” And of course I ate an entire plateful.

He teased me about that for years.

Well done!

There are indeed many entertaining names for eggs, my favorite being from our friends Down Under: “bum nuts.” Taken together with sausages called “mystery bags,” you can’t go wrong with an Aussie breakfast.

Congrats on the egg!  Nothing beats a fresh egg.  One word of advice which I think came from my grandparents (probably just an old wives tale) is that you shouldn’t immediately remove the eggs.  Set a time of the day to do it and stick to a routine.  It helps the chickens lay more for whatever reason.  Ehh they were German so maybe it was just the routine they liked LOL

Nice egg!  I almost regret not stealing from the nest of a goose who built her nest in an accessible location at my workplace.  She had four huge, lovely eggs, and I imagine one or two of them would have made a great meal.

Gorgeous egg! Many happy returns.

Well we lost the big black shaggy mutt to liver disease about a month ago (and can you just be done with me now, gods, thank you very much!! ) so with only the defective sheltie to worry about I may very well look into a small coop.  Being herded around by her should keep the chickens in good shape and I would adore the fresh eggs.  Can’t wait to hear how they taste once you get to try one!

Sorry about losing your dog, Mar.

I know how you get get a taste of an egg like that: go to your local Vitamin Cottage grocery store and get a dozen eggs by Vital Farms.  Pricy, but they really are eggs by birds that actually live outside.  The yolks are dark yellow and “stand proud” above the white when you make eggs over easy. 

What chickens eat matters.  An old friend told me how the eggs she got in Nepal (Peace Corps volunteer, not a tourist) had yolks that were so pale, it was almost hard to tell them from the rest of the egg.  Chickens there scramble for anything with any calorie value, included what the humans would hork up and spit onto the ground.  Yeah, I know, gross story, but it does make a point about egg quality…

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