I know that kids love to go and collect eggs, but this was a group aged between 34 and 69, so I assumed that they were just coming along to be nice and keep me company. But as we got closer to the chickens, I glanced at my aunt, the eldest in the group, and noticed her clear excitement. I helped them over the fence and was about to reach into the nest boxes and grab the eggs, when I realized that my aunt was hovering over me. And not far behind her was my cousin and her boyfriend. I asked them if they would like to collect the eggs for me.
The level of enthusiasm behind their nods was enough to convince me that they were not being polite at all by accompanying me to the hens. They were here for themselves. Squeals equivalent to any kid I have brought over to the chickens accompanied each handful of eggs.
Over the years, egg collecting has just become another chore in my mind, but it was at this moment that I remembered the excitement I felt at the first egg to appear in the nest box. It was the same thrill I felt when I heard the first peep tweet out of the eggs we were incubating. What is it about chickens and their eggs that triggers such emotional rushes in us?
Do we just love eggs that much? Personally, I am a little tired of eggs these days, so that cant be it.
It is an elementary, yet dramatic, example of the circle of life. Every level of the process highlights the laws of nature. The fact that the chickens could lay their eggs pretty much anywhere they want, and yet that their instinct to lay in a nest is so engrained that 99% of the time they lay them in these artificially created nest boxes is stunning. The physical presence of that pre-life egg, again stunning. The repetitive and dependable cycle of the chicken, every day, hopping into that box to lay another egg, only to have it removed so that tomorrow she will lay another one. The separation of the nutrient rich yolk and the white. When you take a moment to consider them, all of these things really are squeal worthy.
So next time you have some time on your hands during a CSA pick up, check in with us to see if we have collected eggs yet. If not, I highly recommend tagging along at some point during the season. And don’t worry, we wont judge you if you squeal.