Egg Hunt – and It’s Not Even Easter

31 May

By Jared

In the last few weeks we noticed a sharp decline in egg production from our 12 laying hens, and since our blue eggs had all but disappeared, we assumed our Araucanas had begun moulting (an annual phase in which a hen’s egg production slows down for several weeks while their feathers are replaced).   We thought, “Oh well, we’ll just have to make do with what we’ve got.”

Then, two nights ago, when I went to close up the coop after the chickens had gone in to roost, I only counted 11 birds.  We were missing Torrealba, one of our favorite birds – a bright and friendly Araucana!  I wasn’t too concerned, though, because we had seen her pecking around the shed around 7:00pm while the girls enjoyed their ice cream cones on the swings before bedtime.  I assumed Torrealba had simply found somewhere else to roost, and would return in the morning.

When Aleah and Sophi awoke the next morning, I reported to them, “Torrealba never came home last night, we need to go look for her in the woods and bring her home.”

Aleah responded casually, “No problem Dad, I’ve got good eyes and I can see through those woods real easily.”

So off we went.

DSC_0036I encouraged the girls to check near the shed, since that was the last place we’d seen Torri.  They crouched down to look in the small area beneath the shed, and then began yelling, “Dad, come here, we think there’s an egg down there, it could be a golf ball, but we’re pretty sure it’s an egg.”

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Sure enough, it was an egg.  A beautiful, blue egg. And as I used a stick to roll the egg toward me, out of the shadows came Torrealba! Hooray!  She had spent the night under the shed, laid her morning egg, and all is well!

But as I lay on my stomach and nudged her out from under the shed, my eyes beheld a wonder that sent my sunburned lips stretching from ear to ear.  It was as if tiny, winged-fairies danced across streams of light singing Handel’s Messiah as they flew from a heavenly bassinet overflowing with blue eggs! DSC_0017

And then the fun part.  The girls and I (well, mostly them, since they were small enough to crawl into the tight space beneath the shed) slithered our way in the cool, damp dirt as we retrieved our beloved bounty.  Caitlyn, holding Hudson and watching our feet dangle out from beneath the shed, was wise enough not to mention spiders, while I snapped pictured of the girls passing eggs back from the nest.DSC_0020

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Mystery solved!  We collected over 20 eggs and they are all still good as they’ve been in a cool, dark place awaiting discovery.  Thank goodness for brave little girls and adventurous summer mornings!  DSC_0021

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