Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A surprise in the henhouse

Hello, everyone.

As I think y'all might remember, we have a few pet birds. Just now, "a few" means 3 hens and a pair of guinea fowl. (Mr. Guinea and Mrs. Guinea, who live alongside Ms. Silver, Ms. Red, and Princess Stripey.) Today, as we have been for the last several days, I let them out about 6 pm for a walk.

The walks in the evening let them get away from each other for a little while, let them eat bugs and seeds in the yard, and let them not notice me getting into the henhouse for the eggs.

When I opened the "people door" and went inside the henhouse, I found the usual two green eggs
Ameraucana egg. (Tastes just like the brown and white ones!) For size, the tiles are 4 inches square.
and an unexpected three guinea eggs. Mrs. Guinea must have been hiding them under the straw, because yesterday my sweetie looked for eggs and didn't see any of the small, brown, speckled looking guinea eggs.

You have to be cautious about collecting the guinea eggs. The hen is very attached to them. And her mate is very attached to her happiness! A few days ago, after collecting eggs, I was sitting outside watching the birds at their activities when the guineas went back over to the pen. Mrs. Guinea went first, calling "Good luck! Good luck!" as she went. Mr. Guinea trailed after and made little screeches. She went inside the house and looked for her egg (now collected) and came out hollering her head off. "BUCK WHEAT!" (There are multiple ways to write down the call. She had definitely gone from concerned to screaming upset.) Mr. Guinea, hearing his lady yelling that "it's GONE!!!!" commenced to giving out his alarm call, too. It was all very traumatic for them.

But if I allowed her to collect a clutch and set, her mate would make the three hens' lives a living hell. He already chases them around when he thinks there isn't enough food for his lady, or that she's wanting peace and quiet to lay an egg. Imagine what he'd be like if she was setting all the time on a clutch of eggs? It would be simply impossible. And so I collect her egg every time she lays one, just like I do with the hens.

I have boiled the guinea eggs, and after you get the shell to open up and peel it off, they make perfect deviled eggs. If weighed to get the amounts to match up, they are fine for baking with, too. And they make good fried eggs, though there is about half the amount of goodness in a guinea egg compared to a large chicken egg.

Another thing you can do with eggs--after you blow out the goodness inside the shell!