Tag Archives: eggs

E is For Eggs (AtoZChallenge2018)



Girl with a Basket of Eggs, by Joachim Beuckelaer, early 17th Century

The egg is the perfect physical embodiment of the concept of transformation in one, neat package of potential. Back in my farm days I never tired of tending an incubator full of eggs, monitoring temperature and humidity, tracking every time I turned the eggs (2-4 times per day) on a spreadsheet, counting down the days until the hatch began. The eggs didn’t change in appearance, but inside, miracles were occurring.

x marks the eggs

By marking one side of each egg (these are turkey eggs) with an X I knew which side was up.

After 3-4 weeks (exactly how long depends on what kind of poultry I was hatching), the eggs began to twitch and vibrate as the inhabitants started plotting their escapes. Soon, muffled peeping began to emanate from the incubator. Using a knobby bit on the tops of their beaks (called an egg tooth), the hatchlings hammered upward, piercing the shells and not stopping until tiny cracks and holes formed a ring around the fatter end of the shell. The following two videos show the final step in this process when the little one would crack off the lid of the egg and splurt out (these are turkey poults).

During the days of rapid growth and change during incubation, the yolk provided all the energy needed to transform the fertilized egg into a fully formed creature capable of escaping from a claustrophobic prison. After a short rest during which they dried off and fluffed up, they were ready to eat, drink, and run about with surprising enthusiasm.


Farm Fresh Eggs

We kept a mixed flock of hens, in part because we enjoyed the range of colours and textures they produced in their egg shells. Depending on what the hens were eating, the yolks ranged in colour from canary yellow to deep, dark orange. 



DCC Love My Chicken!

One of the hatchlings, all grown up. And, yes, the fact my beak was beginning to match the chicken’s is not lost on me. It’s a good thing I left farming when I did or I might have started sprouting feathers. 

It’s hardly surprising that eggs, being of a particularly satisfying shape and containing, as they do, the cosmically mysterious beginnings of life have made many appearances in art.



Still Life: Jug and Eggs by Roger Fry

They are also a familiar sight in most kitchens. Every morning I make gluten free muffin-esque bun thingies, each of which contains an egg. They are substantial enough that having one with cheese or nut butter sustains me through a morning of writing. Here’s the recipe:

Nikki’s Gluten Free Breakfast Bun Thingies

1 egg

1 T olive oil

1/2 mashed banana

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 T ground flax seed

1 T almond flour

1/2 T coconut flour

1 T shredded coconut (optional)

1 T finely chopped walnuts (optional)


Mix together the egg, oil and banana. Add the remaining ingredients, mixing well. Spray a 2 c-size ramekin with olive oil-based cooking spray (I’ve also used olive oil to grease the ramekin, but don’t find that works quite as well). 

Pour the mix into the ramekin and microwave for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. 

You can either eat these hot and soft or cut in half (or thirds, if yours rises a lot – this varies a bit) and toast before serving with your choice of butter, cheese, nut butter, honey, or jam. 



There is so much going on in The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch it’s hardly surprising I didn’t remember this detail until I went looking for examples of eggs in art… 

What’s your favourite way to prepare eggs? I like them pretty much any way they can be served except, weirdly enough, Eggs Benedict. Keep that in mind should you ever have me over for brunch…



Did you know it takes a hen 24 – 26 hours to make a single egg? Old Woman Selling Eggs, by Hendrick Bloemaert (1632)




Day 4 – Five Odd Questions About Poultry

I like Holly Spangler’s idea of posting short lists… so today’s post is a list of five questions we’ve been asked about our eggs and poultry.

1. Do you need a rooster for your hens to lay eggs?

We get asked this question all the time, so in case you have been wondering but were too shy to ask, the answer is no. Hens happily lay eggs even when there is no rooster around. If you want your eggs to hatch out chicks, that’s a different matter.

Chicken Eggs

Most grocery store eggs are either brown or white, but chicken eggs come in a range of colours. We find eggs that are pale blue, green, creamy-coloured, dark brown, pale brown, speckled, and plain. They also vary widely in size and shape depending on the particular breed of chicken, age of the hen, and season. Yolk colour also varies and ranges from yellow to deep orange to almost red. Yolk variations are most dramatic in response to changing fruits and vegetables we feed to supplement the birds’ standard diet of pasture and grain.

2. How long is a turkey pregnant?

Errr… turkeys don’t get pregnant, nor do they suckle their young. They lay eggs like other birds. It takes them about 28 days of incubation to hatch out a clutch. That’s shorter than our ducks and longer than the chickens.

3. Can you eat turkey eggs?

Absolutely. They are delicious! After we’ve collected enough eggs to incubate and hatch out for holiday birds we eat the rest of the eggs laid that season. Though, as our customers learn how good our turkey eggs are (and, how large – they are about double the size of a decent-sized chicken egg) we are finding we have fewer and fewer left for our fridge!

4. Can you cross a duck and a chicken?

Not any more successfully than you could cross a cat and a dog. Though, our rooster Wimpy is a bit in love with one of our Muscovy ducks and has certainly been trying to pull this off.

5. Does the rooster fertilize the eggs externally?

The asker did not clarify exactly how this was supposed to happen, but I can only imagine he was thinking about how our local salmon do this. Ever since, I have been keeping an eye open for our rooster stalking around the orchard looking for unattended nests so he could… err… squat and sprinkle.

The serious answer is ‘no.’ Chicken reproduction occurs internally. I won’t go into further detail as this is a family-friendly blog, but if you are curious, this website has a lot of excellent information about how all that works…

Interested in learning who else is participating in the 30 days blog-a-thon or the five things Holly Spangler will be talking about all month long? Head over to Prairie Farmer to find out!