Z is not good at being ruthless

First it was the cats, now it’s a chicken.

Roses told me yesterday that Jamie, who was kindly replacing a couple of panes in the doors of the greenhouse, had found two clutches of eggs in the compost heap.  Today, I had young Hadrian with me, so we went in search of them.  I’d marked a few elderly eggs that I’d forgotten about, to use as pot eggs (chooks aren’t that bright, as long as eggs, real or china, are in the nest, they keep on laying there) and that was fine in the first nest.  But a hen was sitting on the others.

I hoped she was just contemplating laying and would leave, cackling triumphantly, but she didn’t.  She is still sitting tight.  I do not want baby chicks and have removed eggs from under broody hens … but I’m getting too soft and I couldn’t put her back in the run with the others.

I wasn’t entirely sure if she was the hen that has been sitting (I hope, because the alternative is that she is dead) for nearly three weeks, so I went in and got a pan of warm water and bobbed the eggs in it – they all sank, whereas an about-to-hatch egg would float and move about as the chick inside moved.  Fumbling underneath her, to her indignation, I discovered that some of the eggs were cold, there were too many for her to sit on.  It turned out there were 16 in all.

I’ve left her four.  I just hadn’t the heart.  However, it means that I’ve brought in a clutch of 12, a clutch of 8 and 8 more from the nest box today, and I already have a big build-up of eggs.  I don’t know what on earth to do with them all.  I think I’m going to have to look up a recipe for pickled eggs.

10 comments on “Z is not good at being ruthless

  1. tim

    Well, you do seem to send me off in some odd directions, Z. I’ve just spent ten minutes googling ‘waterglass’. I doubt you’ll want to do it, but if you do it requires a large glazed earthenware pot. I have a spare one of those, come and collect it …

    Reply
    1. Z Post author

      I looked up waterglass too and found it on t’internet – but I’m doubtful that I’d dare eat the eggs afterwards, for fear of botulism or something. Mike’s comment has rather put me off. All the same, I’m planning to come down and see Linda again, all being well, next week – are you about on Thursday? It’d be lovely to see you.

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    1. Z Post author

      I had scrambled eggs for supper, but the number I have is way beyond the soufflés one person could eat!

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    1. Z Post author

      There are regulations regarding the sale of eggs – you are allowed to sell eggs from your own hens direct to the public, so Alex used to sell a few when he had his greengrocery, but not through a third party. The trouble is with giving them away, some of them are very fresh but i don’t know when the ones I found in nests were laid – I only like to give away the freshest eggs, which means I’ve got two or three dozen to use up and it’s basically impossible unless I make a lot of cakes or preserve them.

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  2. 63mago

    I vaguely remember that vinegar was used to preserve eggs, sometimes in connection with herbs and / or garlic. I think they can be stored for up to eight weeks, but may be wrong.

    Reply
    1. Z Post author

      You can pickle hard boiled eggs in vinegar, I was thinking I might try a few, but I was rather hoping they’d last months rather than weeks!

      Reply

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