Sunday, August 17, 2008

Egg. In Miniature.

Flora laid her first egg this morning.

Compared to Hazel's eggs, Flora's is a wee one. But sweet nonetheless.

Have you ever watched a chicken lay an egg? I have.
Last week I watched as Hazel struggled in her nesting box, trying to find footing and a comfortable spot. It took twenty minutes.
Even then you could see that this was no easy task. Panting profusely, Hazel suddenly lifted up, fluffed her feathers and filled the nesting box with her body. A few pushes and I heard the egg tap on the floor of the box.
It took her a minute to relax. Then she hopped down, drank copious amounts of water and waddled back to the chicken yard through the pop-hole.
What I witnessed was a miracle, small and beautiful. I will never look at the humble chicken in the same way again. Nor will I take the fruits of their labor - those small, perfect eggs, for granted. Each one is a treasure, a gift from the hen that created them.
Is there any wonder that, when the hens have put themselves to bed for the night and I check to make sure all is well, I gently stroke their backs and whisper "Thank you." to each of them?
Chickens are miracles unto themselves, and caring for them is a pleasure I think everyone should be able to experience.
Try it. I think you will agree.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and Flora! I know those first eggs are exciting.
and yes, I have watched a hen lay her egg. Like you, I agree it is a miracle. After eating home laid eggs, it is hard to go back to eating the light yolked store bought ones, isn't it?
Have a great week!

Utah Grammie said...

I have missed you so much! I came back often to see if you were back - but then just kind of "gave up" ...until this morning - something told me to stop by and see - and am I glad I did! Welcome! Now I'll have to go back and get caught up! It's sooo good to see you (especially after picking up my MaryJane's Farm magazine and seeing the Omlet Inn!)

Utah Grammie said...

Awwe, I just read your words (after my initial excitment of seeing you) and am filled with your beautiful and grateful spirit. No, I have not seen Ophelia next door actually lay her eggs, but now I will never feel the same about our "taking advantage or for granted" the process- and what they go through. Thanks for your words - they mean a lot to me.

emily said...

What a perfectly lovely, thoughtful post. Thank you for it. (I found you through Mercy Project.)