on chickens & eggs



my parents sell eggs,
before just a few
some here and some there,
twelve to a neighbour
twenty-four to a man at work.
these days it’s many, dozens upon dozens.

the chicks they hatch

the old fashion way.
hens on eggs,
chickens born atop nests of straw,
wobbly and wide-eyed.
tiny beaks and yellowish feet.
most years a majority of hens
but sometimes,
roosters a plenty.

this year
with the weather slightly cold
they stand inside most days.
with preference to stay warm i suppose.
their wiry feet clasped to the wood
on which they stand.
as a girl i was terrified
of their talons

roosters never seemed to me,
the kindest of birds.

now, the hens live in a separate house
one with a separate yard.
and the chicks,
they grow in another still.

each coup perfectly tattered
and perfectly endearing.

the eggs they collect,
my parents that is.
are washed and dried
and sorted and stacked,
each by hand and each with care.
green and blue.
brown, beige,
speckled white.

i helped a little
on my recent trip home.
drying and sorting
stacking in piles
moving from side to side.

and for a moment or two

i watched those birds.
they pecked at short grass
and pecked at each other
they peered in corners for who knows exactly what.
and they scratched in dust
until it seemed
there could not possibly
be anything more to scratch.

it was comforting somehow
to see the workings
of their little farm.
i wish now
i had pretty piles of eggs here,
an endless supply for baking
and for,
baking mistakes.

hope your day is nice.
it’s chilly hear
and the wind is blowy.
but the sun shines
and bits of snow sparkle still.

xox, n.


remember jacks.
i’d like to play.

a perfect snack. (via)
i feel like the air of someplace tropical:
one. two. three.

+ a pretty little sofa. (via)(via)

a notebook of bread. (via)
and speaking of eggs.


posted on January 5, 2010 by Nikole


  1. Celine says:

    hi nikole, beautiful photos. no wonder why you like the egg stall at the market so much!

    I would squeal over a bundle of chicks! so soft!

    That couch is adorable. want it.

  2. Jane Flanagan says:

    I really want to keep chickens some day! Your family home looks infinitely charming and idyllic.

  3. Char says:

    i remember dimly my grandparents keeping chickens on their farm when i was little – mostly i remember the downy feel of a little chick on my cheek and the beautiful creamy yellow of their soft little feathers.

    beautiful shots

  4. greenlaundry says:

    So lovely to read. As I read, images of the poor chickens (and cows and pigs) I saw in Food Inc came to mind. Your parents are so awesome for farming like farmers should. You must be so proud.

  5. Enia Is (Almost) Here says:

    really nice shots and a wonderful mood to the post. farms are wonderful things, especially small ones…

  6. Suz says:

    love you photos

  7. melissa says:

    your pictures are beautiful. i've always wanted to gather eggs as a kid. i think there's nothing more satisfying than rooting around for eggs in a mass of hay.
    i used to have a duckling. we named him tick. and it grew really big with white feathers. and one day out of the blue he disappeared.

  8. brightandblithe says:

    I'd love to one day be able to march out the back door and collect a basket of eggs. *sigh*….

  9. Simply Mel says:

    This post makes me so happy! I house-sit for a very dear friend and they have 40+ chickens! It was such a highlight of my day to gather the eggs every afternoon. And oh how incredibly delicious they tasted! Raised the baking to a whole new level!

  10. Michelle says:

    I love that waxy jade colour of the eggs in the first photo. Such a world away from supermarket eggs…

  11. Ellenitza says:

    Lovely photos! I want chickens of my own. I hear they have a lot of personality.

  12. beth says:

    I love love love your story about the chickens and beautiful eggs. How wonderful your parents farm must be!

  13. nikole says:

    celine: hi! i think the couch would be perfect with your floors. and a trip to the market soon?

    jane: yesterday when the snow was perfect i thought, i wonder if jane is walking outside this second. for some reason i thought you would like those little puffs of snow.

    char: that's so great, i remember that downy feeling too, so soft.

    gl: true indeed, collectively it seems we've lost site of sustainable food production don't you think. i guess things are on the way back around now. hopefully small farms, backyard gardens and all-round better farming is on its way back around.

    enia: thank you, and thanks for stopping in.

    suz: hi and thank you.

    melissa: i like the story of tick and that was a cute name. i had a crow as a pet crow as a child, one day he up and fly away too. :)

    brightandblithe: me too, having grown up with it, i kind of can't imagine not doing it as an adult. one day i hope. :)

    mel: it would have been the highlight for me too. and the baking, yes, so much better.

    michelle: hi, thank you.

    ellenitza: hello, thanks for visiting. i think you're right, lots of personality indeed

    beth: hi beth and thank you. it pretty great there.

  14. Sara Bradshaw says:

    For some unknown reason chickens freak me out a little – I'm a duck girl! Also check out my 25 Best Blogs of 2009 list at: http://www.cricketwife.com/2010/01/25-best-blogs-of-2009-part-1.html

  15. erin says:

    a new space for me–so glad that i found you here!

  16. 非凡 says:

    I'm appreciate your writing skill.Please keep on working hard.^^

  17. east side bride says:

    my dad used to keep chickens. I was always a little scared of them too…

  18. jules @ The Diversion Project says:

    wow what lovely images, made me think back to the chickens i kept on the farm and the warmth of the eggs in the morning when you put your hand in to collect them.

    beautiful. thank you.

  19. Hannah Sadie says:

    lovely photos and beautiful prose. thanks for brightening my day :)


  20. hpc says:

    Hello Nikole,

    I love your blog, photos and words.
    Happy 2010 for you.

  21. onesilentwinter says:

    love this post.

  22. Carolyn says:

    Arakana chickens-green eggs and ham! Lovely!