Last summer, our first on our new homestead, we turned over gardens and planted vegetables and fruit trees. As we approach our second summer, she has adopted new additions to our farm. And I have learned fascinating fowl facts the past few weeks that they’ve been a part of our family.
1. For one thing, hens are beautiful. As a city girl, I never noticed this fact before.
2. Hens lay beautiful eggs. As a city girl, I never tasted this fact before.
3. In fact, each hen lays her own uniquely-colored beautiful egg. Our hens are all the same breed (Black Stars), and they are all three sisters, yet each one’s egg is a unique color.
4. The eagerness to know if each day’s bounty has been laid is enough to have teenage daughters rise early with anticipation–both the one who adopted the feathered pets and the one who has been grafted into the excitement.
5. The thought of catching a hen is seen as an intriguing sport to a Labradoodle, but discipled teen trainers can teach the creatures to co-habitate in peace. (More on that in the near future. We’re still working on it.*)
*Happy News: Our training has yielded great success! Read about the training techniques that worked for us in THIS POST.
6. If you have the room to let hens free-range, they cost very little to keep, definitely less than what we were spending on eggs at the grocery store every week. (They spend their days foraging for their own food–tasty bugs and insects–and even help keep your homestead free of some unwanted insects.)
7. On a homestead, no scraps are thrown away, ever. Most are wonderful treats for the hens. The scraps that the hens can’t have–caffeinated coffee and tea grinds, avocado, salty snack foods, potato peels, and citrus–go to the compost pile. Hens also shouldn’t have chocolate, but let’s face it, that NEVER gets thrown away around here.
8. Fresh eggs don’t need refrigeration! They are beautiful, God-designed packages. You see, they have a micro membrane coating on them called “bloom” that keeps potential baby chicks and their environment safe and clean. And that means as long as you don’t wash off the bloom, bacteria has a very hard time ever entering an egg shell. (Store-bought eggs have been bleached and their natural bloom removed.)
9. Hens need calcium in their diet, to produce strong shells. The best source? Their own egg shells! You do want to be sure to crush them up well, so the hens don’t realize the yummy tastiness is their own byproduct, because then the hens will start eating their eggs as they lay them, leaving none for you.
10. There’s more joy than one would imagine in walking back from the hen house, cracking open the daily provision, and whipping up breakfast.
With a fresh egg, the white is so much whiter and the yolk so much richer than any egg I have ever purchased. It’s a yummy little goodness worthy of great gratitude. And gratitude is just one more thing that my hens–and my daughters who care for them–are teaching me with each new day.
If you have a beloved pooch who may not find your hens as lovable as you do, definitely read this post—>
“What father among you, if his son asks for…an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then… know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give!” Luke 11:12
I am the LORD your God… Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. Psalms 81:10
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Be sure to follow along right here, on SoulyRested.com, for more resources, posted often! (Just enter your email and click the “FollowThisBlog” in the right-hand column.) A few times a month I’ll share tips and failures while I work at Keeping It Simple on my New England homestead. Following is super easy–and so is “unfollowing” if you ever feel so inclined–I’m talking easier than lovin’ farm fresh eggs!
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