Laverne and Shirley

LeAnn posted this blog on Saturday, August 28th, 2010 at 7:03 pm

One evening last week, I was by the faucet at the back of the house, filling pails with fresh water for the horses. As I waited for a bucket to fill, Randy came rushing up the hill from the direction of the hen house.

“Guess what? Guess what?” he said, breathless with excitement.

“What?” I said.

He held up his hand. In it was a small off-white egg.

“It’s a Laverne-and-Shirley egg!” he said.

And so it began. Our little Buff Orpington pullets, Laverne and Shirley, have started laying eggs. They are smaller than Gingersnap’s large blue-green Americauna eggs. But they are still very nice eggs.

We thought that Laverne and Shirley would be starting to lay soon because they have gotten bigger and their combs have gotten bigger.

I don’t know if it is because Laverne and Shirley are younger than Bluebell, Gingersnap and Betty White, but they are much friendlier chickens. If you walk down the hill toward the hen house and chicken run, they start running back and forth by the wire, twittering and happy. They are *certain* that if someone is coming to see them, there *must* be a treat involved: apple slices, cucumbers cut up into chunks, bread, sprouted oat leaves.

I have to be careful when I go into the run, too, to bring them chicken feed or oyster shell or grit or fresh water. Laverne and Shirley would like nothing better than to follow me right out of the run. Which might not be so much of a problem, except that there is usually a cat or two hanging around.

When Randy brings chicken feed into the run, he puts some in his hand and then crouches down and holds out his hand. Laverne and Shirley will come to eat out of his palm.

I believe that Bluebell (the Silver Spangled Hamburg) and Betty White (I’m not sure what kind of chicken she is) are molting and have stopped laying. So, it’s Laverne and Shirley’s turn now.

I have to say — with all of the problems with salmonella in the eggs and the eggs being removed from store shelves, I am glad we have our own chickens.  I felt completely confident in making a rhubarb custard pie for a community event the other night to raise money for our parish.

The community event is really a pep rally for the sports teams before school starts and is sponsored by the local Kiwanis, but our parish sells pies and bars and desserts to raise money for the parsonage fund. The local Kiwanis supplies other food. And it was nice to be able to use my own eggs in my pie. . .

LeAnn R. Ralph

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