Saffron Spice's eggs are a perfect eggy shape and a subtle shade of pastel teal blue. Then yesterday evening there was a very very special moment . . . we'd been on a long train journey to Liverpool and back and when we returned I went out to secure the hen-house and check the nest-boxes – there were TWO EGGS! Both were pastel blue-green so they had been laid by the Spice Girls, one was obviously Saffron's but which hen had laid the slightly wobbly elongated pale sage-green egg?
The pale sage green egg (bottom of the photo above) couldn't have been laid by Nutmeg Spice, I'd checked her pelvic bones last week and they were close together. That left Ginger Spice – she had laid an egg!!!!! Why am I so eggcited by this? It's worth a silly pun because last summer Ginger wasn't a well hen, her tail drooped, she'd stopped laying and she was obviously pretending to look OK (hens do this!). In July I exchanged emails with Terry of The Hen Cam, and mentioned my worry about Ginger:
" Ginger isn't herself, we noticed when we got home she was withdrawn and today she's off her food - the heat doesn't help. I've been concerned about her for some time as I realised her egg laying is sporadic. There's nothing obviously wrong, except for her tail being at a slightly lower angle and she's not the bright spark she was."
I bought Epsom Salts to dissolve in a little water to give to Ginger; I made sure she was wormed and gave her yogurt and Poultry Spice with her food. Then one day I found a 'lash' under the perches, a 'lash' is the shed lining of the egg-laying tract and looks . . . er well . . . if you don't know what a lash looks like you probably don't want to know! I guessed it was Ginger's and the reason she'd looked so droopy. I tried to find out if hens can lay eggs again after passing a 'lash', there's not much information available – afterall hens that stop laying are usually disposed of. Terry has written an interesting piece about the lack of knowledge about the health of older hens on her blog here.
But, after that Ginger began to look perkier and gradually she's regained her sparkle. She moulted and grew shiny golden new feathers but she hadn't laid an egg since June 2010.
Now she has! And I wanted to celebrate that very special egg. So, here is Ginger Spice's first egg of 2011 on the left with one of Saffron Spice's , poached and served on toast for my breakfast this morning.
Oh my goodness they were so delicious . . .
Right to the last mouthful . . . mmmmmmm!