The hard work, patience, daily care, treats, and love have finally paid off. We got our first eggs!
I wasn’t even going to start checking daily until next week when our oldest girls turned 18 weeks old, and even then wasn’t expecting to see anything for a little longer. But our flock must have known we were ready and took a vote and a couple girls decided they’d go ahead and be early layers.
Chickens can begin egg production anywhere from 16-24 weeks depending on breed. I’m not yet sure which chickens are being kind to us with their gift of eggs but I’m definitely thankful and they all got a special treat of cracked corn after the discovery.
When a chicken begins egg production, early results can be somewhat unpredictable. Laying cycles, which are typically 24 to 26 hours to produce a single egg, may not be consistent. Egg size may be quite small at first and occasionally you’ll get one with its membrane intact but lacking a shell. Once chickens have settled into their egg laying routine you can expect to receive an egg a day per laying hen in your flock.
Some facts about eggs:
- Brown eggs are not healthier than white eggs. Different breeds lay different color of eggs but there is no difference in the flavor or nutritional value.
- While white and brown eggs are the standard seen in stores, eggs can be many different colors including: pink, blue, or green!
- Older chickens lay bigger eggs. As a hen ages her eggs will increase in size.
- Most backyard and free range chickens from farms will lay a vibrant orange yolk. This does not mean they are more nutritional but it is an indicator of the chickens diet.
- Unsure if your eggs are fresh? Drop the egg in a bowl of water; fresh eggs will sink and as the egg gets older it will start to float.
- Eggs are packed with protein, iron, and 38 other vitamins and minerals. The saying should be; “An egg a day keeps the doctor away.”
Hopefully the other girls will soon follow the trend of laying eggs, but for now I’m just as excited to see a couple in their nest boxes every morning because I know that soon we’ll be in an abundance of fresh eggs!