Farm fresh eggs: they're what's for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Ever since a kind friend brought Whitey the Chicken a dozen fertile eggs to sit on six years ago when she went broody for the first time in her life at the age of seven, our chicken population has expanded each spring.
Whitey died last year at the ripe old age of 12 (when I checked a few years ago, the world record for oldest living chicken was 14), but her legacy lives on. She raised seven chicks during her one and only stint at motherhood, and we kept one of the roosters, which meant that we now had fertile eggs—and our hens have been taking advantage of that fact ever since.
I once read an alarming statistic that said something like 95% of hens in the United States have had the instinct to sit on a nest of eggs and hatch out some chicks—known as going broody—totally bred out of them. So despite the fact that we don't really need any more chickens, I've never discouraged a hen from doing what she's naturally supposed to do. Plus it's always fun having baby chicks around.
Last year, though, six of our hens hatched out a total of 40 live chicks. Lokey alone was responsible for raising 20 of them. A friend says she's worth her weight in gold.
More photos and a lot more story below (hover over each image for a description). . .