Something pretty spooky has happened on the egg front. My friend and old colleague, Lisa, who until recently was Country Living’s Features Editor, has been willing her Welsummer pullets to lay ever since she first bought them back in July. She’d kept chickens some years ago and so, after a time renting a place (which became known as ‘the single storey dwelling’) when she finally settled into her new Sussex home, she was keen to move a flock into the garden, too. It was a perfectly hatched plan: Lisa contacted a local breeder who raised three chicks to order. She bought a coop from eBay and painted it a splendid neutral, Farrow & Ball-esque shade – no doubt an eggshell finish – which transformed it into a veritable poultry palace. In went the young Welsummers and then the awful truth suddenly dawned on her: there’d be no eggs till spring 2012, at least another six months. She willed them to lay in early autumn, but there was no hope, these girls knew they’d be able to sit it out with months of bed and board till they need to show willing. Lisa accepted the state of affairs and bought the odd box from me to keep her in fresh eggs over the winter.
Last Friday, I suddenly realised Valentine’s Day was just a matter if weeks away – the traditional date for hens coming back into lay – and so sent a message via Country Living’s Twitter account to Lisa aka Countrycommuter:
CountryLivingUK Tweeted on 27 January, 7.24am: @countrycommuter Have your lovely Welsummers started laying yet? The wait for those fresh eggs can’t be much longer now
Oddly, the following appeared shortly after:
Lisa, countrycommuter Tweeted on 27 January, 7.56am: @countrylivinguk That is bizarre – I have just tweeted a pic of the very thing!?! Did you feel it in your bones, like true countrywomen?
I was delighted but also spooked by the timing. If only I could will my own little Araucanas to lay with the same effectiveness. The hybrids are doing a splendid job and I’ve a dozen to sell today, but I want one of those pretty pastel-coloured eggs with the big yolks to poach and enjoy in a toasted muffin this weekend – come on you blues!