I think it was the day after Thanksgiving. I walked outside to feed the chickens and pulled one light brown egg from the coop. That was the last egg. The weather turned cold and the days grew short. I would see the girls briefly in the mornings and be home in time in the evenings to see them walk up their plank into the coop. As soon as it's dark, they are on their perch and nestled down for the evening. In some ways, this makes it easier to change out their feeder because they aren't crowding me to hurry up. Did I mention that Matilda's a biter? It doesn't hurt, but it's a little unnerving to have her peck at your fingers.
We knew this would happen. Not the pecking thing. That was a given. No...we knew that the hens would probably stop laying during the winter. We'd read it in all the books. Chickens that lay eggs year round are kept warm and inside during the winter. This also shortens their life span. Don't get me started on those commercial egg farms. Just imagining the inside of one of those barns makes me teary. Still, even though we knew, going out to the coop and not finding an egg or two has been a little deflating. Those days of egg collecting never grew old. Every time we'd pluck an egg out of the coop, we'd holler with joy. I'd ooh and awe over each egg and speculate based on egg color which chicken was laying what. We've decided that when we finally renovate the kitchen, we'll use the same colors as the eggs the hens lay. Beautiful taupe, light blue-green and an almost white.
It is yet another example of how Winter steals joy. And it's been cold here. We still have snow and ice on the ground from the storm system that moved through last week. Monday, I parked the car in the driveway, got out and walked up onto the front porch to unlock the door. Before I opened the front door, I reached over to fish the mail out of the mailbox. That's when I heard this odd scraping sound. I looked over to see my car sliding down the driveway. It stopped sliding long enough for me to hop back in it, but it took me two parking attempts to get it situated in a spot where it wouldn't slide. Yesterday we woke up to a fresh new layer of slushy wet snow. It looks like the front yard (that never sees the sun) is going to be coated with snow and ice until Spring, which is when I expect to see our next egg.
There were two eggs in the coop on Sunday and one on Tuesday and another one on Wednesday. I'm taking back the joy Winter steals one egg at a time.
Happy Love Thursday!