This is so exciting! Not sure who’s more thrilled … the 5-year-old or me!

Starr, Dorie & Honey

Our girls are 4 months old. I knew they were close by the “squatting” when we get close and the extra squawking. They’ve been super-friendly — wanting to be near us when they’re out of the coop rather than celebrate their indepen- dence and flutter away.

So as I checked their coop yesterday around noon, there were two beauties someone had left for us:  

My guess is that it was Starr (the black sex link) … she’s a little bigger than Dorie and Honey (the golden comets).

For our pioneering and farming ancestors, raising chickens was simply a way of life. Just a few generations back, it was common that almost everyone you knew had “backyard chickens” as a necessity … for food and often for income. I think it’s great that there’s a resurgence of raising chickens, even on urban “farms” in the city.

Chicken Memories

My dad tells me that when he grew up on the farm in Minnesota, they had several hundred chickens. I’m sure it was his job, along with his brother and sisters, to gather eggs and clean the coop … as was common for kids in his generation and many generations before him.

Farm wife and her chickens

He talks about catching, butchering, plucking and eating the first chickens of the season in spring. Several generations of family members in attendance, a big fried chicken lunch … he called it “the best meal of the year”!

Aunt Gwen, my dad’s sister, remembers living on the farm in the early 1940s and my grandmother keeping baby chicks in a spare bedroom until they were big enough or it was warm enough outside for them to survive in the brooder house. Possibly this led to her lifetime dislike of chickens!

And my grandmother wrote about her mother, Great Grandma Harberts, in the 1920s, wearing a big apron every day and using it to gather eggs from the henhouse … or to gather chicks in the event of a sudden storm to get them quickly into the coop … or to shoo the “cackling old hens and crowing roosters that liked to fly over the fence”!! Can’t you just see that?

Now for the good stuff …

So I’m proud to be carrying on this tradition that dates back many hundreds of years. My son will have great memories, I hope, of having pet chickens and eating their amazing eggs.

And that brings us to the most urgent matter at hand: How are we going to cook these first eggs? Maybe I’ll wait a few  days till I have a few more and make quiche with homemade crust, filled with tomatoes, herbs and green onions from my garden. Yum!

What’s your favorite way to eat fresh eggs?


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