Greetings! I belong to a permaculture gardening group in Maine and last spring members of our group worked to allow backyard chickens in Portland, Maine. They did their homework and put on a great presentation, and they won the "right" to keep eight or less hens. But no roosters--to noisy! Which always makes me chuckle. I guess city folks have never heard a hen lay an egg! So several of our group went right out and purchased their hens. So now as it is fall and time for The First Egg. I would like to share a post from a group member, Elaine, who found her first egg day before yesterday. Dear Friends, Yesterday, Monday, September 28, was the day Francis and I awaited the biopsy results to determine if the mass around his lumbar spine is malignant or benign.... So it was a trying day! Yet in the middle of all this I heard a huge racket in the outside run of the chicken coop. Only 25 feet from the deck's opened screened door, I caught sight and sound of unusual display! I looked to see what the fuss was about. (Sounded as if a bobcat was threatening them.) But wow -- I heard a big swoosh as they flew up to the top of the run (over 6') -- in unison!! Not only that but they kept up their LOUD ....what do you call it? It's not really clucking. Was it cackling? Singing? Stacey Collins had told us in her terrific Backyard Hens 101 course that when they lay eggs they make a racket...yes a "racket" is what it was. So I checked the nest boxes newly lined the day before with fresh pine shavings, and guess what! There inside one of the two nest boxes with access outside the coop was a beautiful perfectly formed egg! Not misshapen as I read it could be until they "get the hang of it," -- but perfect! Probably small to medium sized, sort of tan colored. It had to come from one of the red or black sex links hens, since two are Americaunas and will produce, we're told, colored eggs -- "Easter Egger hens." Our sweet chickies are still pullets of course, only 20 weeks old until they turn 21 weeks old on Thursday. I just wanted to share my joy at a time when I'm in the middle of the biggest challenge of my life. I won't have time to answer any congratulatory emails for the first egg laying since as it is I can't keep up with the loving notes of support from friends. I thank you ahead of time for sending Francis and me vibes of healing and wisdom as he/we face a big decision. Thank you permaculture friends! Elaine PS What happened to the egg? I fried it -- with its beautiful double yoke! -- and brought it to Francis at the hospital. He savored all of it -- the most delicious egg he ever ate!