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Blue Eggs & Eileen

Among the more exciting aspects of moving to our farm last spring was the prospect of having our own blue eggs. At least for Eileen it was. She was obsessed with the Araucana breed of chicken that is known to lay beautiful, pastel blue eggs. Within the first week of moving to Little Seed Farm we were on the hunt for local breeders that had an Araucana laying hen.

It’s quite easy to find young chicks that six months later will grow into adult laying hens and lay their first egg, but six months seemed like a lifetime to wait. We needed an actively laying bird, and we needed one now.

After much hunting, we found a farm about an hour and a half away that had ONE left. Despite not yet having unpacked 99% of our boxes, or really done much in the way of preparing for our first chickens, we were off to the races. Our new blue egg layer would need some friends, and we also wanted to pick up a few guineas to help control the abundant tick population upon whose turf we had encroached, so we loaded up our dog crate in the Subaru and head out to get us some birds.

To say this lady’s poultry farm was a bit “redneck” would be an understatement, but hey, she had the blue egg layer we needed and a few guinea hens to boot. We picked out the birds we wanted and off her son and daughter went with a huge net to hunt them down. Once they were bagged, we headed home to the sound of guineas screeching, a sound we would become all too familiar with over the ensuing months.

When we arrived home we unleashed the birds into their coop area and watched them attentively for an absurd amount of time. I love thinking about those days when we got our first animals. It was like being a kid again. Such awe and amazement. I think we half-expected the Aracauna to plop out a blue egg right in front of our faces, but she didn’t, so we waited. We waited, and we waited. As a matter of fact, we’re still waiting. That’s right. A year and a half later she has yet to produce a SINGLE egg. Heck, I’d be happy with a white egg at this point.

We knew she was a bust after a few months, but by that point we already had a big enough chicken flock to keep us in eggs and we were so busy with the goats, pigs, cows, etc than spending a day or two hunting down a singular Araucana just wasn’t in the cards. Blue eggs would have to wait.

And then came our opportunity. A few months ago we were looking to expand our egg laying flock and we had some friends hoping to unload a few of their chickens. These chickens happened to be of the blue egg laying variety. They only wanted to give up one blue egg layer, but that was fine with us. I brought her home and put her with the other layers and we waited. We waited, and waited. And then she laid a brown egg. Dang it! At this point it was pretty hilarious and we resigned ourselves to a life without blue eggs.

But escape the blue eggs we could not. Another friend had a handful of “Easter Eggers” he was looking to sell. He claimed that some would lay blue, some would lay beige, and so if we bought 5 or 6 we’d be certain to get at least one blue egg layer.

Then on one fateful morning, after waiting for a glorious blue egg to appear in the nesting boxes, it did. Eileen had her blue egg, finally.

 - James