The abysmal quality of Industrial eggs as available in the market led me to experiment with Backyard hen-keeping.Living as I am in a relatively smaller town with a modicum of open space around the house this has been an interesting affair. Of course they do not lay eggs all year round -but they do get relatively prolific in winters. And few as the eggs are , the quality is something worth seeing.The yolks are so tight and muscled - like shiny,bright yellow balls. Not runny . And easily lend themselves to making a perfect sunny side up egg fry ! The yolks are not tiny relative to the white, but rather big - the white part is lesser .No smell .I love holding a warm freshly laid egg in my hand !
But the real fun is that these hens and their Rooster have their creaturely personalities. My bedroom rings with the cock-a-doodle -do at five-thirty am sharp .Which is marginally better than the four am alarm in summer time :) The black and grey hens are fat and very friendly.Rather docile too and get fulsomely pecked by the sharp as nail white one -who is in a brooding mood these days .And haunts the cage- warming her clutch of eggs.
Busy Brooding !
The black one lays in odd places and forgets and is more interested in ravaging the garden with its various leafy veggies. They just love the fresh juicy ,chlorophyll laden stuff . Potato leaves ,carrot leaves ,mustard and turnip greens - they do not leave anything .So to protect my veggies I let them in the front yard where they peck the grass and termites(hopefully !) and spread some nitrogen -rich chicken shit .They just LOVE this arrangement.So much so that they have started making angry noises till they are let in the lawn The Rooster with his magnificent white and black plumage is a rather dumb witted fellow and merely follows the women. The hens *really* Gossip .They go sing-song ,cooing and clicking all the time.Its very soothing actually to have them flitting around on a Sunday morning, while I pretend to read the newspapers!
The only time Mr Hen wants to assert his authority is when bajra is served.He flaps his wing and quacks to dine first. But the ladies just ignore him :)
I call this silly bunch my Zen Hens ! Their Happiness shows in the eggs they make .Really ! I hope the white one is successful in her endeavour to hatch and we add some chicks to this merry album !