Which Came First?

We’ve all heard the debate: “Which came first, the Chicken or the Egg?”  I’m not here to solve that question.  But I do know at my Aunt Shirley’s house, it was the chicken.
After chatting with her about her unique collections of young hens, I wanted to visit and see them for myself.  She lives in Bakersfield, in the county, where it’s still okay to have a chicken coop in one’s backyard.  Although raising a few chickens is not unusual, some of her chickens are.  They are known as Ameraucana or Easter Eggers.  They don’t lay white or brown eggs, but instead olive green, blue or pink eggs.
Right now they’re only two months old.  Cute, curious and chirpy.  They stayed in a little group and the slightest noise sent them scurrying to hide.  But when they heard the gate open to their pen, they came out.  One at a time, wondering if food might be part of the human’s visit.
I went inside the large cage to get a closer look and take some pictures.  (In case some of my regular readers remember a previous post when I talked about my allergies to bird feathers – contact like this doesn’t bother me if I don’t stay too long.)

Some of them loved the attention, others stayed hidden with the rest of the group.  Shirley told me they need to be about six months old before they start laying eggs.  With eight hens they can expect about 6-8 eggs a day, more than enough for most families.   She said they were relatively simple to care for and so much fun to watch.  In fact, I’m not sure if they bought the little feathered bundles more for watching or more for the eggs.  When one spotted a butterfly near the cage, a couple of them watched intently and added to our enjoyment.

Shirley told me they plan to give them more room, even allow them to roam around the back yard when they get bigger.  Discovering a few earwigs under their feed, they enjoyed the tasty treat.  She let me know if I found any tomato horn worms on my prized plants; her young hens would love the treat.  I’ll remember that if I see any of those giant nasty caterpillars.

I’m looking forward to seeing the eggs from the Easter Eggers.  I’ve only eaten white eggs, so in a few more months I’ll get to try brown and pastel eggs.  Look for a follow up to this story in about four months.  To be continued…
Thanks Aunt Shirley, for your time and help with this blog post.  🙂

For more information on Easter Eggers check out this link.

10 thoughts on “Which Came First?

  1. Joan, LOVED your post, and I am looking forward to your update on the Easter Eggers in a few months, and in the mean time, I have saved your blog address in favorites and plan to keep checking in. Love your writing*! Thanks for sharing in facebook so I could find you again*!

    -Ashley

  2. I would love to see pictures of those colorful eggs. My great Aunt Ladale who lived in the Rosedale area on two acres for over fifty years had at least 30 hens or more. She even had names for them and they knew her voice.As soon as they heard her they would start clucking like crazy and charge the gate. She past away last year at the age of 98.

  3. You may be disappointed to learn that the color of the eggshell has nothing to do with the color of its contents. A city kid, I was disappointed to learn the truth about brown cows and chocolate milk.

  4. Dennis,

    I really do know all the eggs will look the same inside, no matter the color of the outside. Hmm, kind of like people. No matter how we appear on the outside, we are all the same inside. Don't judge an egg by it's color eh

    Joan

  5. Years ago, I used to work at a farm store where, once a year, we sold baby chicks. They were ordinary chicks I'm sure. But I always liked to imagine they all went to a place like your aunt's where they laid eggs and someone would gather them…all very picturesque…and it's really nice to know that some people actually do that. You've given some validity to my imagination…in my head, all those baby chicks now live with your aunt. 🙂

  6. Well the shell color might not make a difference, but backyard eggs taste much better than factory laid ones. We were the recent recipients of a couple dozen local eggs. We set those aside for our egg dishes. Grocery story eggs only for baking where something else was the main ingredient. Sigh. I only have grocery store eggs today. Oh well, man does not live on eggs alone.

  7. Wow! I didn't know there were chickens that lay colorful eggs. So cool. Another fun fact to teach my little ones. Cool story. I can't wait for the follow up story.

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