So, the hens came home yesterday. There's four Plymouth Rocks (the striped ones), three Rhode Island Reds and three Black Rocks -- all good dual-purpose birds.
The ride home didn't phase them and they quickly settled in to their winter home, clucking and scratching away.
They don't seem to mind us at all -- in fact they're quite sociable little beasties. They even treated up to a fresh egg this morning! [UPDATE: We found a second egg this afternoon!]
Here's the set-up for their winter digs. There's a perch on the left for them to roost at night, a hanging feeder, a heat lamp (which I'll only turn on when it's really cold at night) and the water fountain in the rear.
Here is the nesting box, handmade by my husband Lucas. He's so handy!
Here's the kids checking the hanging feeder. Jack is pretty excited about the whole egg-collecting thing and is taking his farm chore responsibility pretty seriously. Ella has named three of them "Ella" (what else?) and thinks they're all "so cute."
Here's our first egg, less than 12 hours after the girls arrived! We weren't expecting anything for a few days (giving the hens time to settle in) so this was a real treat.
Here's a comparison between our egg (on the left) and a commercial egg (on the right.) Ours is slightly larger than the commercial egg and the shell of ours egg was so smooth and gorgeous! I'll upload some more comparison photos when we crack it open.
LATER DAY UPDATE:
Here are the results of our Rowangarth Farm versus store-bought eggs. You be the judge!
Our two eggs are on the bottom (note the slightly different colours -- I'm assuming each is from a different breed) and the store-bought are the two on the top.
Here's a comparison of the yolks. Again, store-bought...
verus our girls' eggs. The one on the bottom isn't a double - it's just broken.
We fried them up and our eggs won the taste-test, hands-down. It's true that farm fresh eggs just taste better -- richer even. Our son didn't want to eat the other eggs after having the fresh ones (and he eats anything!)
The only drawback to our little experient was that our four-year-old daughter cried when we cracked open the shells because, well... "She really loves those eggs!"
There will be plenty more where those came from, little girl. We're just getting started!