I WAS going to title this post "All I Want for Christmas Is a Damn Egg." Having diligently tended my cluckers for the past seven months with nothing to show for it, I had become duly discouraged. But events have transpired to make that message mute. I won't lie, I thought this day would never come. I even considered the possibility that I may have purchased a flock of duds. I then entertained a series of paranoid delusions that infertility perhaps may be contagious - I suppose that's a tale I should save for my memoirs. Nevertheless, though the ladies showed every indication that they were ready to start their laying careers, I had resigned myself to an eggless life.
For the past few weeks, Fruit Loop, who lives up to every last letter of her name, has been terrorizing the yard with obnoxious clucking that borders on rooster crows. I threatened the stew pot to no avail. She continued marching about with her shrill squawking "BRRRWAAAAAAHHK brahk brahk brahk brahk!!!!" I made the mistake of attempting to pet her while she was roosting in the coop to which I received such an eardrum splitting "PihkaaaaaAAAAAWK!!" that I'm certain I will require hearing aids in the near future. Since her arrival at Itty Bitty, Fruit Loop's comb and wattles have grown threefold. I knew both the borderline crowing and growth of headgear were good signs of eggs to come, but every day I would check the nest and yard for little white or brown gifts and... nothing.
Someone had suggested putting fake eggs in the nest to encourage the girls to do their stuff. I pulled out some of Ute's plastic Easter eggs and placed them in the laying box. I only had colored eggs, but I assumed that wouldn't matter; the point was for the ladies to GET THE POINT! Those pink and yellow eggs laid in the box for over two weeks getting kicked around, popped open, pooped on... nothing.
This past week I even contemplated dressing up as a rooster to give the girls some motivation. Whenever they see me coming, both Eggo and Fruit Loop have taken to doing that special crouch that allows the rooster to mount and do his stuff. I usually give them a few firm pats on the back, pull their tail feathers up, and give the tail a little shake. They seem to like it and give themselves a good feather ruffling when I'm done. In my mind, I'm just trying to loosen up those eggs to let them come down. But I guess from the chickens' perspective, I probably seem more like a rooster doing "it" to them. Oh god, I feel weird now that I said that, not to mention a bit pervie.
Last night, when I was putting the hens to bed, I checked the laying box to see if it needed a cleaning. And lo and behold, there was a real, live, perfectly formed egg resting in the box right next to the impostors! I'm not sure who laid it, but I suspect it was Fruit Loop as it was a darkish brown. I ran inside with the biggest shit eating grin, announcing to the Disgruntled Farmhand that we were now officially the proud owners of EGG LAYING chickens. I held that egg in my hands for a solid 10 minutes, turning it over, shaking it, feeling the weight of it in my palms. It was by far, the most beautiful egg I had ever encountered. I think I'll use it to make a coffee cake for Christmas breakfast.
Happy Holidays to each and everyone of you from all of us here at Itty Bitty!