I think I’m not unusual in that I wait for first eggs with anticipation and celebrate with some fanfare. I breed barnyard mix birds and never really know what colour of egg a hen might lay until it appears. Sometimes I’m a bit disappointed, while other times I’m blown away by the beauty of those orbs. Regardless, the arrival of first eggs is like waiting months for a baby to be born.
I thought presenting a photo essay on the documentation of first eggs was rather fitting for this season since eggs are a gift from our hens to us. They go to considerable effort, sometimes at the expense of their own health, to produce them and I never take their offerings for granted. Remember when your girls aren’t laying that they aren’t slackers, but taking a well deserved rest.
First egg photos are a staple of online chicken groups: from outstretched hands holding eggs to celebratory displays and the capture of spontaneous expressions of joy, surprise and appreciation. Here’s a selection of every category I could find.
Sometimes egg photos are accompanied by a comment and I thought these ones were fitting in that they summed up the excitement and wonder many of us feel.
“I screamed with pride and joy when I got my first egg. My husband took a picture of me, the hen, and her egg and I have crazy eyes.” – Jan Upshaw
“Ny hen was just leaving the nestbox having laid her first egg and I told her how well she did in high pitched baby talk. She also got treats and I stood there so none of the others took them. I was very excited. My husband caught me on our coop camera and then sent the video to people. It was crazy embarrassing.” – Courtney Robinson Burg
“My best friend is not answering my texts as I am on the west coast and she is on the east coast and it’s late, so I need to share this with someone. After 19 weeks of raising this hectic flock of 12 from day-old chicks, I finally got my first egg!! I went to lock up the coop after dinner, peeked inside to be sure everyone was in, and this egg was sitting by the door!
I do not know why this is so thrilling. It’s my first flock. I feel like I should be calling distant family members and waking them from their sleep. I feel like I should be skipping around in braids with an apron and a basket. This feels important.
No clue which of the hens laid it. It’s smaller than average, and a kind of gray- green-tan color. I HAVE A FREAKING EGG!!
I have so many questions I, for some reason, did not think of. Where do I store this egg? I know washing removes the bloom thingy, but do I wipe off the bit of mud (god I hope it’s not poop)? It was 110 degrees out today and it’s possible it was out there all day — is it fine? Can we eat every egg we find? Is the first egg gross or weird? How will I know when an egg is fertilized? Can you eat a fertilized egg (I do not want chicks)? This is quite the confounding wonder!” – Joanna Heath
Some folks make an effort to display or photograph their first eggs as a way to commemorate them.
And Last, But Not Least: The Hens, Without Whom There Would Be No Eggs
Thanks to all those who documented and shared their first eggs: Abigail Vega, Amy James, Angie Heggen, Ashley Colquhoun, Bekka Fleishmann, BJ Linne, Charna Chan, Cheryl Steinmetz, Chicken Feed News, Claire Crochet, Courtney Robinson Burg, Donna Brosseau, Erica Paige Grove, Gwen Picanco, Haleigh Baker, Hannah Victoria, Janet McMillan Collinson, Jason Slater, Jen Pusley, Jennifer Ann, Jennifer Walter, Larisha an Danny, Leeann Chang, Linda Jones, Lisa Dretske Byron, Michelle Harding, Ronni Buckler Wilkinson, Sarah Martin Yost, Tara Ingram, Tasha Holden, Taylor Schafer, Vicki Adams and Wies van Oosterhout.
If you have a first egg story or photo you’d like to share feel free to drop me a line using the ‘contact’ button on my homepage.