My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

chooks, hens or chickens?

Waiting for chickens to lay an egg for my Christmas baking


Before Christmas I had been saving up my girl’s eggs for Christmas baking. I wanted to make my own sponge for my Christmas trifle (three eggs) and I wanted to make a pavlova (four eggs). At the moment I only have my two Barnevelders laying as my bantam is on motherhood duties and therefore no eggs.

Two days before Christmas I had six eggs and so I needed one more. The Barnies lay approximately one egg each every two days and Hilda was due to lay today and Helen tomorrow. My husband went to the grocery store and he knew I was one egg short for my Christmas baking and so he phoned me from the store to ask if I wanted him to buy eggs. I said NOOOOOO. I didn’t mean it to come out so aggressively, but come on….. NO. One of the girls will provide me with that last egg.

I made the sponges so that they would be stale enough for the trifle on Christmas morning. So that left the pavlova with one egg short. Hilda is reasonably consistent with her every second day laying so I was confident I would have a pavlova in the oven by the end of the day.  I kept my ear attuned for Hilda’s “I’ve just laid an egg” commotion. I didn’t need to listen too hard as she is very loud and proud and even the neighbours a kilometre down the road know when Hilda has laid.

but by mid afternoon, still no egg. Each time I saw her walking from the front lawn towards the back (where the coop is) I would rush out to see if she was going into the nesting box. But no, she was just going about her scratching and pecking business defying me by walking quickly in the direction of the coop and then she would stop and look up at me. I kept checking in the nesting box just in case today was a quiet egg laying day. But no, no egg today. (I felt like picking her up and giving her a squeeze but thought that probably was not the right thing to do.)

So the next morning (the day before Christmas) my husband offered to go down to the local store to buy eggs and I said no, we would go without pavlova if Hilda or Helen didn’t lay by lunchtime. I couldn’t bring myself to buy eggs. Particularly since the eggs at the local store are not free range. I would rather go without the pavlova.

Then I heard it mid morning. Hilda’s egg laying commotion.  Inside the nesting box was my final egg and just in time for me to make the pavlova. Thank you girls.



15 thoughts on “Waiting for chickens to lay an egg for my Christmas baking

  1. Pingback: Gluten free trifle and gluten free sponge cake recipe – traditional Kiwi Christmas dessert | Coeliac diagnosis – Gluten Free OMG!

  2. Pingback: Pavlova (naturally gluten free) – another traditional Kiwi Christmas dessert | Coeliac diagnosis – Gluten Free OMG!

  3. I know the feeling. I get so used to 3 eggs a day that if there is a faltering for any reason, my whole diet is thrown into chaos. When 2 chickens molted for a week you would have thought I was on starvation rations.

    You can actually make a pavlova with 3 eggs, it’s just 3/4 size. Which is a lot better than buying eggs. BTW, whenever I plan to make pavlova, I try to set aside the oldest eggs because old egg whites whip a lot better than super fresh. I hope the pavlova was worth the stress (how can it not be?).

    • Very good tip about the older eggs. Thank you for that. And yes, everyone enjoyed the pavlova. Although my son didn’t appreciate the “waiting for the egg” story. He doesn’t like to think of where the eggs come from.

  4. Wonderful story…I’m sitting here chuckling thinking about you thinking about giving Hilda a squeeze… 😉

  5. I love that the neighbors know when she lays an egg. Too cute!

    • And I love that I can hear my neighbour’s rooster from about 4 kilometres away 🙂 Too far away to hear it in the morning but close enough to hear it in the afternoon if I am outside.

  6. so funny-in your picture looks like the chook is saying look you will have your eggs when I’m good and ready! x

  7. Aha, my Barnies are laying one egg each every 2 days, too! Well, 2 of them anyway. The third is moulting. Now I don’t feel so bad. Are they on their Christmas holiday break, do you think?

    • Ah, glad you told me yours were laying the same as mine. I was wondering if mine were any different to other Barnies. Mine aren’t on holiday, they have always laid one every second day. They are about 9 months old and I am wondering if they will lay more often as they get older. I have noticed that now and again Hilda lays more often. In fact I have been keeping a spreadsheet (almost embarrassed to admit that) and she laid 3 days in a row!

  8. Gasping at the thought of giving the chook a squeeze! You are hilarious – so glad she came through for you 🙂 XO

  9. This proves that a watched pot never boils 🙂

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