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Saturday, August 28, 2010


HELLO & welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! WHAT A GREAT SURPRISE today when I got home from my short overnight run to Nashville, TN. I went out to the chicken coop to check on the pullets and give them a little treat for the day around 2pm this afternoon. As usual, I walked into the coop and then into the hen house. I have been looking into the nest boxes for so many weeks now, only to walk back out with nothing but my head shaking, "No Eggs Yet". But today...TODAY...I found most all of the plastic golf balls I had put into the nest boxes (to give the little girls the idea of where to do the laying deed) kicked out of all but about two nest boxes and in one of the upper boxes I found this little pullet egg...AN EGG! I just about screamed loud enough to scare any neighbor who might have been outside. I felt like a grandfather who just saw his first grandchild nearly, even though on that front I am still waiting and my daughter turned 31 years old TODAY, by the way! I took it across the street to show my neighbors who were out on their porch and one of the ladies said she heard the biggest cackling going on over here at the urban farm today and that was the reason why I told her.
I am so thrilled to know that all these months of work and worry and trying to keep little newly hatched chicks warm in the spring and keep them from drowning rains and floods we had in early May this year...all this has and is about to pay off. It was a pretty little dark brownish-pink egg, about the size of or almost the size of if you remember those little "Silly Putty" eggs, about that size. All the grass clippings, melon rinds, chicken scratch, grower feed and layer mash, along with crushed oyster shells and crushed granite...all the planning and BEGGING has now come to fruition.
Now am I glad I have been saving egg cartons for months and months as soon I should be getting some 15 +/- eggs per day I am guessing. But of course that will take some time. All the birds will not start laying at the same time but at various stages of development just as humans develope at different levels. And of course they will not lay regularly at first but hit and miss. It might be a week before that same little pullet lays again. But hard to say with all the nutrition and protein I give them as they are well fed and basically spoiled. I have been trying to figure out who laid that egg but you cannot really tell except for looking at the vent of each bird. I am NOT doing that at this stage. I know it was NOT one of the 4-Ameraucanas, as they lay pale blue or greenish eggs.
But a good day overall and glad to finally get some hope for things to come. I will leave you late in the day this Saturday afternoon with our ongoing gardening affirmation in mind for REAL this time: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!" FINALLY!


  1. Congratulations Mike! I SO envy you and I know that when I finally get chickens, I'll be just as excited. :)

  2. Thanks, Jeanna Ann. I hope this is the start of many to come and I am sure it is. My friends and neighbors can hardly wait! I think I am going to blow this one out and put it in a small shadow box and hang in the kitchen! Like a new business and their first dollar they make. Thanks as well for looking in at Garden Daddy and keep your own urban farming alive!

  3. Many CLUCKS! (are you sure you didn't get that egg from Kroger?)

  4. VERY FUNNY, my brother. I will remind you of this my next visit and I come by with an empty egg carton and you wonder WHY?!?!?!?!?!

  5. Look and see which chicken has legs that are no longer yellow. That is the layer. Chickens that have begun to lay have legs that are silvery-grayish-greenish. Also, if the ears are white, the egg will be white. Any other color ears will produce colored eggs. Is this is wrong, someone needs to enlighten I was so proud of my first egg last year. I know just how you feel--proud as can be.

  6. Thanks, Practical Parsimony. I have only 2-pullets that have yellow legs, Buff Orpingtons, and hatched with same. Most all my pullets have either all black or slate colored legs and even the Ameraucanas have had greenish legs since hatch date so I cannot tell really by leg color. The Speckled Sussex has whitish legs and I am still waiting on her comb and wattles to grow a bit more before I suspect her of any "fowl egg" play, as she is younger. And as far as ear color, I know that colored ears mean colored eggs...and I intentionally planned and ordered dark brown layers only so they all have colored ears. That was my intent was to have the darkest brown egg layers I could get. And of course the Ameraucanas lay the blue and green eggs. But I am watching for the combs and wattles to turn more red as what the West TN Poultry Club members tell me is a sure sign. I think this same pullet today, the Buff Orpington named "Miss Prissy" laid the dark brown egg last Saturday. Everything I have read and studied says the wattles are the way to tell mostly. And again, with black legged birds they will not turn colors anyway. My Cuckoo Marans were born with a slate colored leg, remaining that way today, of course with the outer leg feathering and on the outer toe ony for the purebred ones I have that came from a very good and reputable breeder here in Madison County. So they will not turn another color I understand from the breeder or something is wrong with the breeding. So I guess with the particular pure breds I have assembled for my flock I cannot go by leg color but appreciat the help. I have gathered the best of the darkest egg layers, most prolific and best cold weather layers I could get my hands on here, which came from "IDEAL POULTRY" from Texas except for the Marans who are raised locally.
    Again, thanks "Practical Parsimony" for your ideas and assistance! I have enjoyed your blog as well in recent days!

  7. Oh, I only have Rhode Island Reds, so I guess my information from a poultry science dept at a university does not apply universally! Hmmm, only yellow-legged chickens need Thanks. I try not to make my blog too heavy on the chickens since some people are not at all interested! I am just very frugal and creative! I love your site and all the pictures of your progress and pull for your gardens since I garden vicariously this year.

  8. I read some of the same information about coloration changes, etc. from the U. of TN Ag Extension service, but just from talking to some "old timers" and long time poultry keepers in the area they are telling me that my black legged pullets will always retain a black leg and the slate ones will be slate. In saying that they are saying a black legged chicken will not change the leg coloration but often fading occurs.
    (At least in white skinned chickens), the yellowing in the legs is a final step in the maturing process. When they have enough 'yellow' to make a yolk, they should start laying. We used to use the opposite as a means to cull.
    This comment below came from a member of the West TN Poultry Club on the WTPC website:
    "The hens use this pigment to help make the yolks. Once a hen has been laying for about a week, the yellow fades from the vent, another week or so around the eyes fade. It works its way down to the legs. When they quit laying, the yellow begins to come back, starting in the legs and working back up to the eyes, then vent. Once egg production started to drop, hens were checked for returning yellows. Those that had it either went to market, or the stew pot."
    THANKS to EVERYONE for all the input and good, sound advice!