Ella-eggs – a seasonal delicacy?
October 26, 2009 § Leave a comment
Ella’s eggs are the largest of our hens’, with an average size of 71 g (check out this page to see where that puts them on the standard commercial grades). They’re also the most indulgent to eat, as the yolk seems to make up a greater proportion of the egg than the other girls’ eggs, and the whites are thick and cling to the yolk. All this means they make a lovely fried or poached egg, and are our first choice when we’re having eggs that way.
But, as you’ll be aware if you’re a regular viewer of our monthly laying summaries, Ella isn’t the most productive of our girls. In fact in her first season laying (i.e her pullet year – supposedly their most productive time) she laid a total of 100 eggs. (Considering that her breed still holds the world record for most number of eggs laid by a single hen in a calendar year without artificial light – over 360 eggs – this is very definitely sub par.) Last season she did slightly bit better (108 eggs), and this season hasn’t been too bad (27) so far – although it still leaves her well behind the others, except Claire (who has an excuse). As a comparison, Frida (not from a high-laying breed) laid 205 in her first season.
Given that her peak production is in spring and early summer, we’ve come to the conclusion that Ella’s eggs are effectively a seasonal delicacy, like asparagus, whitebait, or Bluff oysters. So we tend to value them that way too, and they rarely get sold or bartered away! (Right now we’ve got seven stashed in the fridge, all laid in the last 10 days or so …)
And they’ll have to last for a while – she’s just gone broody. And she’s a determined and grumpy broody hen, so who knows how long before we get another egg!