Today was a milestone in my little world of allotment chicken keeping. We’ve gone full circle, my girls and I – from egg to egg.
Regular readers of this blog may remember that when Itchy, the last of my ex-battery hens, started looking a bit peaky back in the spring, it coincided with a very determined spell of broodiness from Marian, my gorgeous Black Rock. So, doing the maths (one about to cark it, another offering free incubating services), I slipped some fertile eggs under her.
Three weeks later, during that wonderful period in May when tree blossom blows on the wind like confetti and everything is wonderfully fresh and green, four tiny balls of fluff emerged from under Marian. Oblivious that they weren’t hers, she went on to be a wonderful mum, bustling around the enclosure and going mental if I even so much as went near the chicks.
It’s amazing how quickly those little balls of fluff grew into gawky, awkward teenagers (they really do look like tiny dinosaurs at this point) – and on into bright and lively young hens. Today, exactly five months after they hatched, I got my first egg – a tiny, pure white one which I think I’ll boil and eat like a quail’s egg, dipped in salt and cayenne pepper.