I've been buying my eggs from Sue and Al Maddox at the Old Farts Farm in Springville for a couple of years. I'm not making up that name, either. It's on her signs. She raises and sells rabbits, pygmy and dwarf goats, exotic ducks, peacocks and several breeds of chickens, including Silkies and Rhode Island reds. She sells the animals, as well as baby chicks and fresh eggs. Her small farm is crowded with cages, pens and pools, old tires studded with tomato plants and various other vegetables and flowers. She gets so many folks wanting to just browse the place that she had to start charging for tours.
She has several kinds of chickens, so she has eggs all year round. She was charging $2 per dozen, which is cheaper than the grocery stores. I stuck with her when she went up to $2.50, because I know they're fresh. When she went up to $3, I started looking around for a new source. I found one just down the road from my place, which is a wee bit closer than the Old Farts Farm. But that lady charges $3 too. Well, at least she's closer, I reasoned. Meanwhile, Sue has gone back down to $2 per dozen, so I'm back with the Old Farts, where many folks think I belong.
Her eggs aren’t graded by size. You get several sizes in a dozen. You also get several colors, from the traditional white to solid brown to speckled. I guess that’s because she has so many different types of chickens.
Last week when I went by to get a dozen, Sue was out. She had sold the last two dozen earlier in the day, and her hens were molting so they weren't producing as many as they usually do. "Let's check the nests and see if they've laid any since this morning," she offered. So I dutifully followed her around her hen house, plastic egg crate in hand because I recycle them, while she unceremoniously lifted first one hen and then another from its nest. "Nope, none here," she'd say. The hens clucked at the indignation, but she merely chortled and clucked, too. "Come on, girls, we need some eggs," she added.
One of her pea hens had strayed into the chicken house, and was running around trying to find its way out. She finally darted between us when we weren't looking. "Silly hen," Sue said. "She keeps getting lost in here."
Sue managed to scrounge up seven eggs, so I offered to buy half a dozen for $1. I used those up over the weekend making brownies and banana bread. When I went back Sunday for more, she was still out. When I went to my second source, she was out, too. I was forced to buy a dozen from the (gasp!) grocery store.
I wish Sue’s hens would stop molting and start producing. I like my eggs fresh out of the nest.