Real or perceived, there’s been talk of an egg shortage the last few weeks. Maybe due to “stress baking” or perhaps a slight hiccup in the supply chain, but whatever the cause, our hens are suddenly looking like superstars!
While everyone else is “flocking” to stand in long lines at the grocery, we just step into the coop – this time of year the girls are laying like crazy.
And since you can’t have eggs without chickens (or is it the other way around?) there’s also been a rush among the more intrepid to become flock keepers. According to a recent article in the UK’s Independent, hatcheries on our side of the pond have experienced a 100% increase in orders and long waiting lists for baby chicks.
Almost eleven years into it, I can only champion the joys of chicken keeping, but with one caveat: while we may never know for sure whether the chicken came before the egg, it is an absolute that the coop must come before the chicken. A well thought-out and constructed coop is a must and will save the flock keeper from tears and tragedy. A good place to start is by reading anything by Gail Damerow, who is pretty much the grande dame of chicken keeping.
Another excellent resource is your local feed store or Tractor Supply (if they are open?) and backyardchickens.com is an online treasure trove of information. mypetchicken.com is a good resource for the backyard flock keeper who wishes to begin with a small brood of chicks.
If you’re tempted, I say go for it, but also remember that while you won’t be “sheltering in place” forever (or at least I hope not!) your flock will always need daily tending. Feeding, watering and coop maintenance are musts and some period of supervised free-ranging makes for the happiest of hens. I daresay our crew looks pretty happy:
At a time when we can’t visit with friends and neighbors, at least we’ve been able to leave a pack of fresh eggs as a calling card. One kind friend traded me a coveted container of Clorox wipes for a half dozen eggs and another reciprocated with a container of fresh produce from her garden. Slowing down, looking deeper and treasuring what we have has been a gift in these challenging weeks.
But Easter without the eggs? Without the chocolate? Without the Peeps? Another gift. The greatest gift of all, because John 14:6
Luke 24:2-3; John 11:25-26; Luke 24:6-7
He is risen. He is risen indeed.