Spring time in the country

Ahhhh It’s spring, my favorite time of the year. The weather is getting warmer, flowers are blooming, the smell of grass being mowed, new babies being born and time to work the garden! Tomorrow is the first day of Spring and it also happens to be my grandma’s birthday! It’s gotta be the best Monday ever!

Once summer gets here you’ll hear about how much I love summer and why, and again with Fall and Winter. So I guess what I’m saying is I love every season when it’s here, I just wish Spring lasted longer than all of the others.

Babies…I love new life popping up all over. I love looking out my back window and seeing a new baby calf trying to run behind momma. I love seeing new baby chicks cracking their shell or chirping under a wing of hen.



I love watching feverishly as the days pass and our sows start to get milk and we know farrowing time is coming soon. Baby pigs….Have you ever held one, squeezed or kissed one? I dare say they are cuter, cuddlier and smell better than any other baby animal, including kittens and puppies. There’s nothing like a new born baby pig, well except my 3 sweet children and I get to enjoy both at the same time. Ya, I’m a lucky gal!



Pigs have always had a special place in my heart ever since I got my first one when I was 9 years old. I was hooked from the start. Yes pigs are dirty and smelly. They also have loads of personality, love belly rubs, are very smart, and can love you (most of the time) as much as you love them. Besides, let’s be real for a minute, that’s where bacon comes from. Let that sink in for a minute and you can visualize yourself loving pigs too.


I could talk pigs all day but I’ll try and move on! Spring time for me is the start of a fun and maybe my most rewarding project I have every year. A garden! My toes in the soft dirt, watching everything sprout up and then of course harvest time! There’s a lot of work that goes into a garden before it can produce anything, but that’s what I enjoy. Sweat, a nice tan, and most of all the yummy fruits and veggies.

In a few weeks as my work ensues you can follow along with me if you’d like, as I take to my garden step by step. Anyone can have a garden, big or small! If you live in town and don’t have anything but a window with sunlight, you can still reap the rewards of fresh produce. I much rather pick my produce than buy it from a store. I know what’s been put into it and I know what I’m feeding my family! Its also a great time for memories. The kids love playing in the dirt as much as I do, who knew!



Freshly mowed grass….One of my favorite smells. I love walking outside to a newly mowed lawn and feeling the cold grass on my feet. YES.. I am barefoot a lot, shoes are way over rated! I’m also a weirdo and love to mow. I’ve always loved mowing, even when I was young and I mowed everything with a push mower. I’m not talking about a self-propelled push mower, but an actual PUSH mower. I made a game of how quickly I could get the grass cut. Now that I’m older I love mowing just as much, it’s just a lot easier now that I’m riding instead of pushing. No pictures of me mowing, but here is my hunk of a husband taking a kiddo for a ride. They love to mow too, I guess it’s in the genes!


I’ve shared a few of my favorite things about spring, what’s yours? Maybe I can find something else to love!

– The Clucky Hen

The Incredible Edible Egg!


Many people just go to the store and buy their eggs, crack them open and eat them. Today I want to share some interesting facts about the Incredible Edible Egg!

So which came first the egg or the chicken? Well I believe God created the chicken and henceforth came eggs, but that’s just what I think. Your next door chicken might have a different story.

Lets clear the air first, you do not need a Rooster in order to get eggs. Many backyard flocks don’t ever see a rooster and they may be happier for it! Some roosters can be obnoxious and annoying not only to your neighbors but also to your happy hens.

A chicken has a set number of eggs inside her body, just like women. Once those are gone she will no longer lay, this of course will be years after her first egg is laid. Having a rooster with your flock just ensures you’ll have fertilized eggs if and when you’d like to hatch chicks. Even then the egg must be incubated either under a chicken or in a incubator at around 99.5-99.9 degrees for a few days before it can actually start to develop. After 21 days of being at that temperature and about 75% humidity, daily rotation of the eggs you’ll see a tiny chick hatch! However, I normally let my hens do all the work, they enjoy it and it’s much easier when it comes time to integrate the chicks into the flock!


Right now I have a stash of fertilized eggs sitting on my counter, no matter how long they sit there they’ll never grow an egg. If you want to wait to gather several eggs to hatch yourself you can delay development by putting your eggs in cartons and keep them around 50-60 degrees and they’ll last for up to 7 days and have no effect on the embryo. Make sure the end with the air sac is pointing up!

Another interesting fact, if you have farm fresh eggs, they do NOT need to be refrigerated. Store bought eggs go through a washing process which takes off the bloom that protects the egg. Once the bloom is gone bacteria can get inside. Fresh farm eggs still have their bloom, and as long as you don’t wash them they’ll stay good for several weeks!  In fact, if you catch a hen laying her egg, the second after it’s laid you’ll notice it’s wet and shiny, and it almost immediately dries. This shiny wet layer is the bloom! I do usually wash my eggs if they have dirt or poop on them, but I wait until right before using them.

If you haven’t ever seen or tasted a fresh egg before I hope someday soon you’ll get the chance to find some! Many say once you’ve had fresh you can’t go back. Why is that? An egg is an egg still right? They are all made the same way, right? Technically they are made the same way but what goes into them is totally different. Chickens that produce the eggs in stores are given the same diet day in and day out. Even if they aren’t in a cage, they are usually in a small enclosure still eating the same diet. Store bought eggs have a much lighter yellow yolk, and I believe you can taste the difference.

Even when baking, many times in my breads and pie crusts after it’s cooked, I can see streaks of dark brown/yellow from the eggs I’ve used. This is because the yolks from my eggs are so incredibly dark. Why is that? There are many factors, one of the big ones is diet! Many free range chickens eat lots of plants, which contain carotenoids.  Carotenoids, by definition is any class of mainly yellow, orange, or red fat-soluble pigments, including carotene, which give color to plant parts.

This statement given by Dr. Brown explains it best. Carotenoids act as antioxidants within the body, protecting against cellular damage, the effects of aging, and even some chronic diseases. Follow the link below to learn more about the benefits from carotenoids!It’s pretty amazing.


So farm fresh eggs get the darkened yolk from their diet. The darker their yolk the healthier the chicken! I strive to have eggs that are not only hard shelled, but have a dark orange yolk. My hens have a very wide diet, they have all the forage they could want, lots of insects and an occasional mouse (they are very good mouse hunters). They also get scraps from my kitchen like fruit peelings, veggies, breads and pastas and even cooked meat! It’s important to me to have healthy birds that feed my family healthy eggs, and I know what I’m getting every time I crack one open and see that wonderful dark yolk!


I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about eggs and how great they are, there is so much more to talk about on this topic so I plan on doing a Part 2 of the Incredible Edible Egg, so stay tuned!

-The Clucky Hen