This marks my 600th post about our little homestead and this morning we received a special, rare gift to help us celebrate: a little blue egg from a very old hen.

pearl-egg

Backyard chicken eggs, including a blue-green egg from our nine year old Americana Pearl

Pearl, an Americana, was part of our original flock of hens that moved into our backyard in 2007. She was at least two years old back then, which makes her at least nine years old now. She has always ruled the roost at the top of pecking order and still lays the occasional blue-green egg for us.

Young-pearl

Pearl circa 2007 when she was the tender age of two.

Chickens typically have a life span of 7-10 years. Their egg production slows down as they get older and Pearl has all but stopped laying. Every year, though, during these first months of longer light, she will grace us with a few eggs. It dwindles each year, but I think last season we got about six from February-May.

young-old-americanas

Nine-year old Pearl on the right with the younger Golda immediately to the left, both Americana hens

We’ve raised many other chickens over the years to ensure we always have younger girls to keep the egg basket full. That gives older hens like Pearl the freedom to live out their days in peaceful retirement. She still gives us natural pest control, nitrogen-rich manure, and lots of entertainment.

old-pearl

Pearl, Queen of the Roost

Her body is a bit bonier than it used to be – not underweight, just wiry – and her feathers are wilder looking. I imagine Albert Einstein’s hair did something similar. Nevertheless, we love having her on the homestead. Cheers to Pearl for sticking with us through these busy years of growing and 600 posts worth of good reading material!

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