Gathering Eggs

January 19, 2011
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I put on my coat, just before sunset, and went to the henhouse. As usual, the evening air was cold so I hurried to secure eleven hens and one pet turkey for the night. Standing outside the running pen, I locked the hatch then opened the coop door to gather eggs.

Inside, the free-ranging Rhode Island Reds, Ameraucanas, and Barred Rocks were on their perch, some purring a serene earthy song. In the distance, owl hoots harmonized with croaking frogs and chirping crickets—a soothing ballad that refreshes the soul after a hectic day. I’ve been gathering eggs three or four years now, and it’s a gentler chore in comparison to other farm tasks. I never tire of reaching into the cozy nesting boxes for brown and green treasures. Unlike the eggs from caged layers, my eggs require no cleaning. The shells are as smooth as silk.

Although I was moving quickly to get out of the cold, I slowed down to peek into the nesting boxes. The first box cradled two brown eggs, the second box had a green egg, the third was empty, and the fourth (this reads like Goldilocks) held an unusual surprise, one XXL-egg, and one XXS-egg. As I held the two oddball eggs, one in each palm, I smiled then chuckled. The exaggerated sizes were as laughable as looking at a Great Dane and a Chihuahua standing side-by-side.

After I said good night to the hens, I returned to the house with three normal-sized eggs and two abnormal ones. Once inside, I measured them. The XXL-egg was nearly four inches long by six-and-a-half inches in diameter. (Ouch!) The XXS-egg was three-inches around and only one inch long—not exactly edible. However, the larger egg will make a mighty fine omelet. What better way to start my day than with a meal packed full of organic goodness. Likewise, the quiet gathering of eggs is a perfect threshold to the passing of a day.  Copyright © 2011 Dianne Marie Andre    



Left to right: XXL, Normal Size, XXS







  1. Makes me wanting to raise some chickens of my own!


  2. A delightful journey through the henhouse. I am amazed at the size and colors of the eggs, being the ‘city girl’ that I am. bernadine


  3. enjoyed your story-book description, thank you for momentarily transporting me. I love the tranquil sound and non-sound of roosting hens.


    • Those eggs are gorgeous. They look like polished gems.


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