always a sign that spring is on the way--a little brown egg left for us beneath our chicken coop. our yard has been recently been filled with none-to-subtle sounds of 3 cackling hens. only one is laying at the moment, but hopefully we'll get another season of fresh (almost free) eggs out of our girls before they go into hen-opause and stop laying for good. after a long winter of buying cage-free organic eggs, gifts such as these are certainly welcome!
that's the interesting thing about chickens: most don't lay eggs year round. they use all of their energy during the winter to keep warm and healthy. i think it's good that they get a little break--who wants to give birth every day? traditional egg farmers use sly tricks in order to get hens to lay non-stop: controlled lighting, controlled climate and hormones get the job done. this is not to say that ALL winter eggs are the result of nasty tactics, certainly there are good, humane farms that gently guide their girls into production through the winter months. but farms such as these are a mere exception to a very commonplace rule.
speaking of eggs, lucy tried them for the first time yesterday. i predict they'll run a close second to pancakes, falling in place just before grape jelly on whole grain toast. this girl loves her breakfast!