With The Kitchen Table Cookbook just days away from being born, I’ve decided to take on a distraction of sorts. I’m taking care of a small hobby farm a few minutes from here. Here’s a tally of who is at the farm.
30-ish chickens (assorted varieties and ages), 15 lady sheep, 3 horses, 3 goats, 3 lambs, 2 rams, 1 dog, 1 black cat, 1 rooster
One surprise that I had upon my first solo trip to the farm was Rooster (isn’t he a beauty!). He was wandering around the yard, not in the chicken coop with the hens where I was expecting him. There was a note hastily written saying that Rooster is to stay outside for the week and he will have to “fend for himself”. I’m not that worried about Rooster staying safe, but now I’m worried about me staying safe. In order for me to collect eggs, I have to turn my back on him. Roosters can be quite mean (I’ll have to tell you about Herbie the Rooster sometime) and I had this feeling that he could sneak up on me at any minute while I had my hand in one of the laying boxes. Luckily I had the foresight to throw some chicken scratch out for him to peck at while I was conducting my first search. Major lesson here – distract, distract, distract.
Gathering eggs is a little harder than I thought it would be. Besides the threat of Rooster, the laying box/room/mini apartment is so… well, it’s kind of gross. And it’s set up so that I have to wedge myself into the space and reach around into boxes where the eggs might be, without being able to see what or who is in the boxes. There are 4 boxes available to the hens to lay their eggs. Here’s how my first collection of eggs went down… In box #1- no eggs. Box #2- 1 egg. Box #3- 1 egg. At this point I was wondering where all of the eggs could be. Keep in mind that there are about 10 hens who are laying eggs right now (the rest of the chickens are too young). Box #4 was the hardest for me to reach and it was located just above the entrance that the chickens use to come into the laying area. To top it off, it has a dodgy looking burlap curtain making it look like a kid’s puppet theatre in a scary movie. I worked up my nerve and sure enough, there were several eggs in the puppet theatre box. For a lover of GOOD EGGS, I would have to say that the rewards for collecting eggs far outweighs my
fears discomfort. But Rooster, please play nice!