Sunday, November 20, 2011

Picking Eggs


BIG changes at the Shawhan farm! Jimmy and Charlie are finally here! The chickens have two Percheron draft horses to torment now besides poor Chuck and Big Mack, our Holstein steers. I asked the boys this morning if they enjoyed being woken up at four in the morning by the roosters, but they were too polite to answer honestly. I was a little worried how Charlie would react to seeing big birds who resemble a T-Rex when they run, but he didn't seem to be that bothered by it. A small welcoming committee was there on Saturday thanks to my sister-in-law and my three year-old nephew, Big Kenny.

As soon as Kenny got out of the car he wanted to "pick eggs." He was all set to go in his rubber gum boots and adventurous spirit.

"Aunt Becca, I want to go pick eggs." He said over and over again in his toddler dialect.

"Ok Kenny." I replied. "We'll go pick eggs and you can take them home with you." (Well a snack and a restroom break were on mom's priority list before the egg picking would take place.) So we all headed into the house for awhile.

FINALLY, it was time to pick our eggs! Out in the cold room, which is the equivalent to a mud room, I gave Kenny the giant yellow basket I use to pick the eggs everyday. This basket was saved from Dan's old family farm where he spent the first 13 years of his life and what he used at Kenny's age to pick eggs. Kenny waited gleefully by the door while we got our shoes on.

"You, you hide the eggs for me Aunt Becca." He told me. (It is crazy what children remember. One Easter I hid Kenny's Easter eggs several times so he could have more than one egg hunt.)

Once we got down to the barn we made our way into the coop. I told Kenny there might be chickens on the eggs right now and we might have to move a few of the ladies. I typically get all the eggs at night when I shut the chickens in since it does seem to take all day for everyone to lay.

We lifted the lid on the nest box, and sure enough each box beheld a hen nestled in the straw. Only one egg was in sight. I think Kenny was a little nervous to get it. I could tell he wanted to, but he seemed a little unsure. I told him it was alright and that no one would peck at him. Slowly he reached in with those innocent hands and proudly held up his treasure. Five more eggs were found after relocation of some of the chickies. Three eggs went home cracked. And one went home covered in poo.

At last we went back to the house to get an egg cartoon that are kept in "Aunt Becca's house." I told Kenny he can come and pick eggs anytime he wanted. I may even start calling getting the eggs, "picking the eggs." Speaking of which, that time of the day is fast approaching. Happy picking!!!

                                                                                             ...cluck... cluck... cluck... cluck......

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