Monday, November 15, 2010

Our First Egg

We've been waiting for months, and at last the day has arrived.  Yesterday we got our first egg from our chickens!  The hens are approximately 7.5 - 8 months old now, so I guess that's right about on schedule.  I'm not sure if we should expect very many eggs in the near future, since it's mid-November and the days are just going to keep getting shorter.  But I've read that Orpingtons do sometimes keep laying through the winter, so I guess we'll see!

Our egg is on the right, with a store-bought size "Large" egg and a penny in the photo for size comparison.

I've read that a pullet's first eggs are often tiny and misshapen, but this egg is lovely and perfect.  It's a bit smaller than the store-bought egg, but it's still a respectable size.  It's lighter-colored than the store-bought egg too.  It's exactly the beautiful pale porcelain-pink flesh tone that you'd see on the face of an expensive porcelain doll.

Next came the taste test.  I hard boiled both the eggs, and we shared them for breakfast.
 As you can see, our egg (top) has a much richer color, presumably because our chickens have access to grass and bugs and occasional scraps of fruit, instead of just chicken feed.  Our egg also had slightly more flavor and a less dry and crumbly texture to the yolk.  It also had a noticeably stronger shell.


V.R. Leavitt said...

I like your description of the differences between the two. And yours does sound very yummy. :-)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! My mom has a boatload of chickens incuding several Orppingtons (who are friendly and gorgeous; we love them), and her research has turned up an interesting pair of facts: 1) yolks lose color as they age, and 2) eggs can be kept in storage for up to a year before they are required to be put on the shelf for sale.

So the limited range feeding is one part of the yolk color, but it's probably more likely the age of the egg - at least according to my mom. :) Your scrambled eggs are going to start being BRIGHT yellow. It's amusing.

Elizabeth said...

I love my orpington girl. We had the blue, black and splashes but now only have one 3 yr. old buff I got as a day old and her best friend a jersey giant. She's amazing. She comes in the house, follows me to the mailbox and in general follows me around the place. She has no fear and is always curious about what I'm doing. She's really become a pet.

The egg difference is amazing. That rich orange yoke says it all.

Hopeful said...

oh, congratulations! i just found your blog and glad i did. isn't it the best when you find your first egg? it's a beautiful color and nicely sized. whoo hoo! i spent 5 months building my coop and run (can't free range due to coyotes everywhere) and just got my chickens 4 weeks ago - they were about 8 months old on craigslist so had just started laying. i still get excited getting the eggs and hope you do, too! hope they keep laying through the winter. well, i'm going to look around on your blog more.

meemsnyc said...

Congrats, I love the flavor of home raised eggs. Tastes so much better.

MyBellsPalsyBaby said...

You can increase your flocks productivity by using lights in your hen house. On average I believe they require 14hrs of light whether natural or artificial. As for egg size, that is actually determined by weight and not the physical size of the eggs. Have fun with your chickens!