Seasonal Almanac

Minor snow: Heaven’s essence rises; earth’s essence sinks (3 of 5)

May 28th, 2009

Minor snow 8 of 15I have been impatiently waiting for the white chicken to lay ever since we got our first egg. I researched online, talked to people, and lurked on forums to find out when Leghorn pullets generally start laying. Apparently, there is no answer. Or, more accurately, the answer is ‘whenever she is ready’. The differences between individual chickens seem to matter more than the differences between breeds.

So it was much to my delight to find two eggs in the ‘nest’ yesterday morning! Only now it creates a new puzzle. With one black chicken and one white chicken, it is reasonable to expect one brown egg and one white egg. But this is not the case. Instead, we have 2 brown-ish/ beige eggs. It turns out that although the white chicken is a Leghorn, she is a not a thorough-bred (you can see pale brown feathers about her here and there). Her egg is a shade lighter than the black chicken’s and they are both beige. This new evidence leads to another mystery being solved.

Looking at six or so eggs in the carton, I can see that they are of both shades. So this means that the white chicken actually has been laying for at least a number of days. The tricky part is that she laid on the days when the black chicken didn’t! Picking up the beige eggs, I just assumed it was the black chicken’s.

One particular egg in the carton is unusally long. I crack it open and it has two yolks. I read that it is not unusally to get double-yolked eggs from young pullets that have just started laying. Their bodies sometimes mistakenly encase two yolks into one shell before they have the whole egg-laying system settles in to run smoothly. I mark the egg to the white chicken’s first.

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