This Sunday evening, one week ahead of schedule, I found three eggs lying on the palace floor. There they were, one blue and two brown, in danger every minute from the sharp talons of the swarming chickens. (Do the chickens have sharp talons? Let’s play name that movie.) I picked them up, and yes, two were already cracked. As nice as the chicken palace is, its floor is no place to lay eggs. I built nesting boxes before Christmas, but had not yet installed them. From what I’ve read, the hens would not show due reverence for the boxes until they started laying eggs, and would likely have thought of them as convenient little bathrooms. Anyway, the coming of the eggs meant it was time to get the boxes in, so yesterday afternoon I hung a vast bank of nesting boxes along one wall of the palace. Tonight I found the first nesting-box egg in bay 15. Tomorrow I plan to get lights in the palace to encourage the hens to lay more frequently (like more than one a day per 75 chickens, please… after the unexpected bounty of that first day, production has dropped to one egg a day). Assuming that the exciting new lights and boxes will work their magic, I should have eggs to sell within two or three weeks.
As to the eggs themselves, they are small, as are all eggs from newly laying chickens, but will increase in size as the chickens grow older. They have very hard shells and wonderful dark yellow yolks. I am now feeding the hens an organic ration, but legally cannot call them organic eggs. My plan is to charge $4 per dozen. This is less than the average going price for store-bought organic eggs, which, while much better than non-organic eggs, pale in comparison to these.