Valentine’s Day has passed. For the henkeeper who has a few pure-breeds in their flock, thoughts quickly turn from romance to the urgent matter of eggs, for the annual occasion also marks the start of the laying season. Is anyone else still waiting like me? If my Araucanas started producing now, quite frankly it wouldn’t be a moment too soon. They don’t just shut up shop for winter, but the whole of autumn, too.
Not one of those pretty pastel eggs has been delivered since the end of September and James and I miss them terribly. So do our family, friends and colleagues who are our faithful customers – while they appreciate the subtly different browns and the snowy hued efforts of the White Star, there’s nothing quite as thrilling as a pale blue (Audrey) or green-tinged egg (Mabel) – the ones below were laid last year.
I do find these little boxes of four pretty cute, though, no matter what their contents – the girls hadn’t rustled up enough for two half-dozen boxes today, so a fellow member of the Country Living staff, Lesley, will have a smaller box today.
I haven’t done enough detective work to find out which colour egg the Rhode Island Red lays but I suspect she may be among that elite of pure breeds which carries on laying through winter. Does anyone keep any hens (other than hybrids) that perform all year round? In the meantime, I’m crossing my fingers that this evening I find a pastel egg I can poach for breakfast in the morning.