Sunday, December 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

My grandson and I learn about the chicken and the egg

MarionFranckW

By
From page A10 | September 01, 2013 |

“The brown ones are friendly,” my friend Mary says. “The red ones, too. You can pet them.”

Pet a chicken? Truth is, I’d like to feel their feathers, and I’d like my 2-year-old grandson to get a chance to feel them, too, but what about those sharp beaks? Are chickens dangerous?

I wouldn’t be so ignorant if I had ever gone on Davis’ Tour de Cluck, where families bike from backyard chicken coop to backyard chicken coop around town and learn about chickens. Maybe next year.

For now, however, I need to respond to the petting suggestion. “We’ll try it,” I say.

Although Mary can’t come with us, she explains that we can easily walk right into her chicken coop and hang out with the chickens, as long as we don’t care too much about the state of our shoes.

So we go. As we open the door to the coop, I warn Dane that we have to be careful not to let the chickens out.

Two curious hens inspect the open door, but these chickens haven’t planned ahead. They don’t position themselves for escape, and I easily lock them in.

Once I’m inside, I count four birds in constant motion and two birds sitting in a nest box. While my grandson offers them a variety of “foods” he picks up from the ground — corn husks, shavings, bird poop — I try petting a bird to see if it will bite. I discover it’s hard to get a chicken to stop long enough for a pat. My grandson and I are safe.

Eventually, we become curious about eggs. We stand next to the little house where two birds are nesting and I slowly extend two fingers to reach underneath a hen.

“She has an egg!” I say to my grandson, and I hold him up so he can look. Then I remember that Mary said it was OK to take an egg. We’ll bring it home and cook it for lunch.

Moving my fingers under the hen again, I extract the egg. She makes no objection. A few seconds later, Dane and I exit the coop, making sure we have no tailgaters. We carry our egg to Dane’s stroller, where the little tray in front of his seat has a cup-type indentation.

“Put the egg there,” I say. The egg is light and delicate, quite pretty, with some unfamiliar markings on the shell. A real home-grown egg will be fun to eat, if we can get it home.

The problem is that Dane doesn’t know this egg well enough yet, and making its acquaintance involves lifting it repeatedly, cuddling it against his cheek, and balancing it between his fingers. He also wants to dangle it over the side of the stroller. Pretty soon I look like a crouched wrestler, pushing the stroller with one hand and leaning down with the other, ready to catch a falling egg.

We inch forward.

In the end, I hide the egg from Dane just to keep it safe, and after stops at a vegetable garden and a playground, we head home.

After we remove our shoes and wash our hands, I take a frying pan and bring it to the stove. I grab a stool for Dane. Carefully, I place the egg on the counter next to the pan.

“You can break it now,” I tell Dane.

He lifts it, quite gently, and brings it down on the counter.

Rap.

It doesn’t break.

“A little harder,” I suggest.

Rap. Rap.

Not a single crack appears.

“You,” Dane says, pushing the egg in my direction.

“OK.” I rap harder. No crack. And harder.

I stop and look at those funny markings on the shell again. Then I open the refrigerator and pick an egg out of my carton from Safeway. We crack and eat the store-bought product.

“Mary,” I write, as soon as I get to my computer. “Why was the chicken sitting on a fake egg?

“Chickens are not reflective or good planners,” she answers, confirming my observation about their ineptness at escape. “They need a clue and reassurance that the nesting box is a good place to lay an egg. We put one fake egg in each box.”

I go to the web to read up on fake eggs, which are used commonly, but the main thing I learn is that chicken owners call their birds “my girls.”

I guess my boy and his uninformed Grandma will need to return the fake egg to its rightful owner. We’ll do that tomorrow. Maybe we’ll pet one of the girls and if we find an egg, Dane and I will both turn it over in our hands, feel its weight in our palms, and hold it close to our eyes before we bring it home.

Dane is learning to be reflective and a good planner.

So is Grandma.

— Marion Franck lives in Davis with her family. Reach her at marionf2@gmail.com

Comments

comments

.

News

 
 
Yolo makes hydrogen connection

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

NYC officer mourned at funeral as tensions linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
N. Korea uses racial slur against Obama over hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

AirAsia plane with 162 aboard missing in Indonesia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Sacramento man convicted for 2011 bar shooting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Drugs, stolen car lead to women’s arrests

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

USA Weekend calls it quits

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Supplies collected for victims of abuse

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sweet success: Cancer Center helps young patient celebrate end of treatment

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Reserve tickets soon for Chamber’s Installation Gala

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Holiday hours continue at The Enterprise

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Covell Gardens hosts New Year’s Eve dance

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

UC Davis debate team wins national championship

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Portuguese breakfast set for Jan. 25

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

At the Pond: It all started with kayaking on Putah Creek

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Find the first cabbage white butterfly, and win a pitcher

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Does pre-eclampsia raise autism risk?

By Phyllis Brown | From Page: A6

 
Long will talk about value of hedgerows for adjacent farms

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
It’s a wonderful life — and a wonderful state

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

College sees benefits in loan guarantees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Tickets for New Year’s Eve party going fast

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

.

Forum

This cat is on life No. 7

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B4

 
 
It was a busy, black-eye year for disease control

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Say thanks to the caregivers

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Rifkin’s statement is offensive

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Bombing is not the answer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Just Us in Davis: Despair and hope for the new year

By Jonathan London | From Page: A10

Commission’s list needs vetting

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Writer’s arguments fall flat

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A11

Cuba policy changes highlight a momentous opportunity

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
.

Sports

DHS boys get good film in tournament loss

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Sacramento survives Knicks in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Kings cruise past Sharks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Lady Blue Devils top Tigers to reach Ram Jam title game

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Sports briefs: Republic FC to host camp series

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
College bowl roundup: Sun Bowl goes to the Sun Devils

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Kaiser’s trauma center in Vacaville earns verification

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Rob White: Davis tech community is growing

By Rob White | From Page: A9

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

 
First Northern adds Peyret to agribusiness loan team

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Obituaries

Ruth Allen Barr

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Charles ‘Bud’ Meyer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, December 28, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8