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.