Our Egg Situation

My husband Allan got a goose egg last night. He wasn’t hurt as some may suspect, rather he found an actual egg out in the goose pen while doing chores.

Lately the egg situation on the farm has been nonexistent. Our laying hens stopped giving us eggs some time just after Christmas. For the first time in a decade we had to buy eggs.

It was unusual deciding what kind to buy. I don’t remember there being so many choices available: free range, free run, omega 3, organic, organic free range – the list seemed endless. All I knew was I didn’t want any white eggs; brown eggs have the reputation of being more healthy.

But truly, the shell colour has little to do with what is inside. I have known several farmers who have chickens that produce eggs of either colour. And once they are cracked open into the frying pan, they are indistinguishable. But after years of having brown eggs, the white ones just seem unappealing.

It’s normal for a chicken to stop their production of eggs in the winter, but for whatever reason our birds haven’t done this. They have slowed down egg production before, but this was the first time they stopped completely.

As a hen gets older it produces fewer eggs and I knew our hens were starting to creep up in age. When they first stopped, we thought the geese were harassing them too much so we separated them. But this didn’t change the situation.

By the time we bought our first dozen eggs the geese had started to lay eggs of their own.

A goose egg is about the equivalent of two chicken eggs. There is more yolk in a goose egg but the taste and texture are about the same as the chicken variety. So we still had farm eggs.

I was surprised the geese were laying eggs so early in the year, though. While chickens usually lay about 300 eggs in 365 days, geese only lay eggs for about six months. They usually start when temperatures warm up enough to feel like spring. I guess the warm temperatures we got in January tricked our geese into thinking it was time to start a family. As temperatures dropped again in February, they stopped giving us eggs.

Lately it has felt like spring. The sun has been very warm and snow is melting all around us. There is mud and water in the driveway. Yesterday it was overcast and began to snow again. It almost looked like winter had returned. But with the geese again laying eggs I hope spring is here to stay.

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