Cackleberries

The Random Photographer helped with chicken chores the other day.  She found these two eggs together in one of the nest boxes.  It happens sometimes.  Also wrinkly eggs, long and narrow eggs, and sometimes painfully huge eggs.

About 10 years ago, we entered some eggs in the local fair, and to our surprise, won Best in Show for large brown eggs.  It was the only year we entered (we decided to retire at the top of our game).  We might not have placed at all, had an experienced friend not explained to me that one should save the best eggs over a couple of weeks to get the best looking dozen possible, since I had been planning to just put together a dozen from whatever was on hand the day before the registration deadline.   I found it ironic that the eggs were judged solely on uniformity in size, colour, shape and the correct weight for the classification of “large”.  No one cared how fresh they were or about the diet of the chickens that laid them – things that actually do affect the quality of the egg (not to mention how it tastes).

In the 12 years we have been selling eggs, I have only been asked maybe half a dozen times about how the chickens live, what they eat, how fresh the eggs are.  Some of my customers are good friends and see the chickens regularly, so they know, but most have never been to my farm.  I find it really weird actually, because my eggs cost about $1 more than free range eggs from the store.  Aren’t people curious about why they cost so much more?  Apparently not. I asked a co-worker if she ever wondered, and she said she knew I lived on a farm so they had to be better eggs.  It’s a real indication of the level of trust people have about where their food comes from.  I wish they wouldn’t trust so blindly though.  Because I can think of three neighbours right now, all nice people, all selling eggs, all with their chickens in different set ups, and only one of us keeping our chickens on grass (guess who).

We have a customer who sees the variation in her dozen eggs as an adventure – even though I do strive not to put the oddball eggs in the cartons destined for sale.  The other day, I gave her the little egg from the picture above as a joke in her dozen.  She was thrilled, but disappointed when I explained it probably had no yoke – I could have gone for the pun, there, but restrained myself.  We’re thinking of using some blue food dye on a few in her next dozen….simpler than getting Amerecaunas.

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