Sheep Eggs For Dinner
It is funny the communication between children and their parents – the quirky things they say and our unique ability to decipher what they are trying to convey. For instance when I asked Alice (my three year old daughter) what she wanted for dinner last night she replied “sheep eggs please mum”.
Firstly I should clarify these aren’t real sheep eggs! When our chickens lay their eggs we collect them, clean them and write the date on them to keep track of their best before date. Alice also insists I draw a picture on the eggs – usually an animal but sometimes a star or tractor or a smiley face. So when she asked for sheep eggs for dinner I instantly knew that it was two scrambled eggs which had come from an egg with sheep pictures scrawled on their shells.
We have a small chicken tractor that houses four chickens at present. It resembles a large rabbit hutch on wheels. The ladies lay their eggs and sleep in the enclosed part and are able to pick grass and insects through the mesh floor in the morning before Alice lets them out to forage around the house yard all day. When the afternoon rolls around and the sun goes down the girls take themselves home to roost.
The egg collecting routine has become a ritual that provides immense joy for the whole family. When we first decided to get the chickens I was hesitant thinking the novelty would soon wear off and that I would be left to feed and care for them. However, this has not been the case! In fact, Alice checks for the eggs several times a day “just in case”.
On the way out to the chicken tractor I usually ask Alice how many eggs do you think there will be? She usually replies with “three” and I take a guess too. The back of the enclosed area is rectangular in shape with a small latch. In my mind it resembles a suitcase from Deal or No Deal. So after we “lock in our guesses” Alice opens to door to reveal the prize. The reaction is priceless every single time – elation, big smiles and high fives when an egg is present. On the “flip side” (excuse the pun) if no egg is present there is disappointment similar to loosing the $200k right after you say “no deal Andrew”.
It wasn’t just Alice’s love of animals that influenced us to get chickens for her birthday. We also wanted to instil a sense of responsibility for taking care of their needs, empathy towards animals and to learn where food comes from. It has also unexpectedly shown her first hand the circle of life and why working dogs and chickens don’t always mix – but that’s a whole other blog.
In closing I’d just like to say the fowl additions to our family are greatly loved and are doing a fantastic job of converting the decaying vegies from our fridge (which we had every good intention of eating) into fresh eggs. My next backyard project I’d like to undertake is a DIY Beehive. Would love to hear from you if you have any experience with these.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the water when hard boiling eggs - this helps the shell peel easier.
- Peel eggs by placing them in a glass half full of water and swirl/shake to remove shell.
- Use the chart below to help decide if your eggs (free range or store bought) are still ok to use. (Source Pinterest).