Digging out from another snowstorm on Friday into Saturday. Lovely snow but it is all piling up and getting downright deep. We haven't seen any deer in the orchard for the past couple weeks. The Farmer thinks the snowpack is too deep for them to move around much.
Although spring is elusive at the moment, I know it is on the way. The days are getting longer and the sun feels warmer late in the morning. The other trustworthy clue that spring will eventually get here on this hill is that my chickens are laying again. I am getting 3 to 6 eggs a day. It is really so much fun to crack open an egg still warm from the coop and cook or bake with it.
Last year I ordered a breed of chickens called Cuckoo Marans, aka "chocolate eggers". I could only purchase them “straight run” which means there is a mix of hen and rooster chicks. Of the 12 that grew out, I only ended up with 5 hens. A bit disappointing since I really only need one or two roosters to wake us up in the morning.
Cuckoo Marans were developed in Maran, France and they are rather large birds. That's my group on the roost above. The roosters look very similar to Barred Rocks but with longer tail feathers. The hens are a bit darker grey with just a bit of mottling in their feathers. I have been anticipating the eggs from these hens – wondering how dark they would be and if they would live up to all the fanfare.
Here is the egg selection from my hens production last week.
The blue eggs are from the Aracaunas. These birds are really nice – gentle and extremely prolific. The white and off-white eggs are from the Polish “top hat” chickens and white Silkie Bantams shown in the photo below. The typical brown eggs are from my Buff Orpingtons. And those beautiful dark brown eggs are from the Cuckoo Maran hens. It is such a pretty selection.
I couldn't resist placing some balls of Julia amongst the lovely natural colored eggs. Now I have just got to find some time to make a swatch from this inspiration.