I’ve been collecting eggs this morning, and as the weather warms and the daylight hours increase, so does the egg production. I’ve always had chickens and I was recently shown an old video of me as a toddler, enthusiastically stumbling about after some chickens in the garden which made me smile. It’s a good thing to have extra eggs as lunch is kept to it’s most simple when the children are on holiday and boiled eggs are a firm favourite. I really love sending my children out to feed the chickens scraps and collect eggs as it firmly connects them to their food.
If you ever have the time to stand and watch chickens then you would soon be amused at how humorous, occasionally indignant and curious chickens can be. They have a huge array of sounds to communicate including a high pitch squawk to warn each other if there is danger in the garden, such as a bird of prey or an unknown visiting dog, or a clucky coo noise then make with a light trill with they are comfortable and full at night in their coop. They also have specific noises for their young ones; the bossy cluck that says “get over here you lot,” a quick there’s food chip chip cluck .. . and on the odd occasion you might see a chicken sneeze, and seeing a chicken’s expression of astonishment is lough out loud funny. I’ve spent many a happy coffee break watching them scratch about, roll about in the dust to clean them sleeves and stretching out their wings to relax and sunbath Yes sunbath … they have no inhibitions as they sprawl in the sunshine, eyes half-closed in gaggles in the sunniest spot they can find, and I know that my eggs are laid by the happiest of chickens.
Sadly not all chickens get to enjoy the simplest pleasures in life. Barn chickens. Only free-range hens have access to the outdoors and are not confined in cages. Then hens kept in barn systems are free from cages, but they are crowded and do not have access to the outdoors. Keeping chickens isn’t practical for everyone, but you can actively help the hens that lay your eggs just by buying free-range.