Wednesday, April 22, 2009

First Fruits!

(click for larger)

I gotta tell ya, it's really really exciting, when you find your first eggs.  These eggs are even more exciting- all but one of these are guinea eggs!

Guinea eggs are pullet sized (those are Spice's hands); they run about 3 guinea to 2 hen eggs, size-wise.  They're a bit pointed, usually; and likely to have faint spots on the pointed end.

We haven't actually eaten any yet- it's too exciting just to look at them!  :-)

But we will; and we'll let you know how they cook and all.  

The info available says a guinea hen can lay 100 eggs a year.  We've got 7 or 8 hens (we think- they're tricky to sex, and even trickier to keep track of).  So- if we could keep them collected- that's a mess of eggs.

And- no kidding- they feed themselves to a great extent.  A month ago, with snow cover still in place, we were feeding our whole batch of birds about 1 and a half scoops of feed a day.  Now that the birds are out, finding seeds, grass, and early bugs- we're down to half a scoop a day.

The guineas, alas, tend to lay all over the farm- not in the coop.  Finding the nests can be really time consuming.  But- these eggs were all laid in the coop.  Hm.  Maybe we could breed a strain that lays eggs at home? 

It's been done, many times, folks- but not with guineas yet.  We'll have to see what we can do.

Oh, yeah- and the ticks.  Our tick season has started- and so far, they seem to be down.  But it's early.  Instead of 20 ticks per dog per day- we're down to 1; and ticks on us- once in 3 days or so.  Instead of 5 a day.  Is it the guineas?  Of course we have no control- so- can't say.  

But we've got less ticks- and eggs.  

So; that's my little bit of cheer for an otherwise rather gloomy Earth Day.  All that lousy news is getting to be a bummer.

If you're looking for a little cheer; dig out a copy of The Land Remembers, and read the chapters on eggs, and Easter.


Beelar said...

Hooray! That is indeed very exciting. Both the eggs and the ticks. Still feeding the wild birds at the house again, too? We'd hypothesized about the increase in local foraging having an effect on the ticks around the house, I remember.

JessTrev said...

Wow, that is exciting! Eggs and ticks, too. Do share how you eat em!

sheila said...

Turning ticks into edible eggs, now that's a protein conversion I can get behind. Go guineas!

Doyu Shonin said...

Ticks into eggs, what's not to like? ;)

Chickens will do this, too, and they and our ducks fight over every slug or snail they come across. Instead of watching TV, we toss a snail over the fence. Bedlam!

The geese, however, reamain above the fray.

Nancy M. said...

Cool! Guinea eggs can be extremely hamind. It's great your ticks seem to be down.

knutty knitter said...

Go the guineas :)

We had frosts this week. Winter is not far off.

viv in nz

Anonymous said...

Guinea info anno 1905:

heidi said...

Yay! Some relatives in Arkansas keep a flock of roosters (eh, yes) to keep the ticks down... they don't want eggs but love the lack of bugs (and the critters get table scraps as feed, that's it). Again, congrats!

Hank Roberts said...

Hmmm, tradeoff?

> Maybe we could breed a strain
> that lays eggs at home?

If you only hunt out and eat the eggs laid elsewhere and let them hatch the ones laid in the coop? But then you expose yourself to more ticks while hunting eggs.

Do the ticks get on the birds at all?

Has anyone tried to breed a very soft-mouthed egg-retrieving dog?

tansy said...

we've been harvesting our turkey eggs, on the other end of the spectrum size wise. i equate them to about 1 1/2 chicken eggs per egg. she is broody but still laying so i harvest the egg she lays every day (we separated her from the toms so the eggs are not fertile) but have 5 under her. this is excitement for us!

Susan Och said...

When I was a kid we had Irish Setters. They were very soft mouthed, would bring home pheasant eggs, baby rabbits, etc, all unharmed. The eggs were not edible, at least by Western standards, as they always had half formed chicks inside. My mom would try to hatch them out by keeping them warm, but with six kids of her own she was never able to find enough time to successfully brood out any pheasants.

Daisy said...

Mmmm. I prefer organic eggs to store-bought. Luckily, my husband works with someone who raises chicks and sells eggs. I love it when he comes home with a dozen. They're so delicious!

Nurse Line said...

Good update about the gunea eggs...eggs are very source of protein and should be consumed everyday.