It's a wee little egg. Light brown. Clean. And I can't believe it came out of my chicken! I put it in the fridge, so it doesn't hatch, but I don't know if I can eat it. I have a strange emotional attachment to this egg.
After all, this one egg has been in the works since January, when I decided to move to Missouri, and become The Chicken Lawyer. In this one egg is hours upon hours of chicken research, coop building, coop buying when the coop building did not work out, one exciting trip in March for Orschlens Chick Days!, many subsequent trips to Orschlens and MFA for feed, waterers, feeders, grit, oyster shell, pine shavings, one super well-stocked chicken medical emergency kit, chicken scratch, meal worms, DE, and ... ending with my most recent purchase, a hanging basket of marigolds, because what chicken does NOT deserve a hanging basket of marigolds, especially when they were 75% off!
And all the bonding! Raising chickens goes well with being a hermit, because I have spent A LOT of time at home hanging out with my Scoobies. Those little poop machines spent 8 weeks in my garage, except when their cuteness inspired Friday night photo sessions in my living room! Will they live? Will they be roosters? Will they have splayed legs? Will they love me? OMG -what is pasty butt? Have you seen a chicken learn to run on a concrete floor? No? My friend, you have not lived.
Then there was the sleepless week when I moved them to their coop and began to worry about predators. EVERYTHING wants to eat my chickens! There might be a MINK in the area, so I HAVE to cover every square uncovered inch with hardware cloth, and I HAVE to do it in the middle of the night! And the thunderstorms. Yes, I MUST go out in the thunderstorm and see how the babies are doing!
By June, I accepted the risk of predation, and let the birds have fee range of the yard during the day, because they love it. Short life of freedom or long life in a coop? Let them out, they will eat all the Bugs and be happy, and if they get eaten, I will probably only cry for 3 weeks.
I really cannot describe the joys of chicken raising enough. It truly is a one day at a time adventure. Mixing the Scoobies with my 3 barred rocks that I HAD to have because I LOVE BARRED ROCK, chicken tribes, scarecrows, hide n seek in the cedars, breaking up rooster fights, crowing contests, coop cleaning, chicken treat inventions, and over 1,000 chicken pictures on my iphoto. If you look in my freezer, you will see ice water bottles to keep the chicken water cool and frozen pears, grapes, and watermelon, because my chickens are spoiled. There is no room for ice cream anymore. Clearly I need a second freezer.
And, I have collected egg cartons from friends. I have a long line of eager customers. I have read the pros and cons of washing eggs and learned how to treat an egg bound hen. I will do this. But, how can I possibly eat this egg? This egg is a miracle!