OK, so the title this week really does take the biscuit, but forgive me – it’s hard not to shamelessly squeeze in a chicken-related word in my blog headings where possible and I think any such whims should be indulged in at this rather challenging time of year, quite frankly.
We’ve had another magnificent egg yield from the girls this week – James and I encourage each other to guess the number as we take turns to collect our treasure from the nesting box and then announce it rather like the judges do their points on Strictly Come Dancing: 8, 7, 9, 8. Now they are coming thick and fast, I’m discovering again one of the great delights of henkeeping: cracking a good deal (again, lashings of apologies all round). James has his own clutch of customers, including his parents who are particularly partial and I sell the odd box to my mum who savours a boiled egg for lunch. It’s in the office where I do most of my trade though, sending ‘egg alert’ emails to flag up the covetable boxes of delights I’ve brought in on the train. They’re always laid no more than two days ago and I pencil on the dates. I take enormous pleasure in receiving payment for them – it’s like playing shop as a child.
We charge £1.50 per half dozen, which compared to supermarkets is pretty competitive. The flock’s fed on organic pellets and corn, plus the greens, pasta and bread we throw their way. Not only is it immensely satisfying that we can more than cover the cost of out henkeeping hobby, but there’s a fundamentally feelgood factor about receiving money for your own produce. I have a dedicated tin for the proceeds – a Matthew Rice design just right for the coins and I enjoy emptying the contents into the large box in the kitchen cupboard when I get home. James’s dad counts the weighty earnings every few months and changed it into notes, which sit in our white china chicken till it’s time to buy more feed or more birds! The simple life, what could be better?