Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The secret lives of eggs

The Secret Lives of Eggs
Available for purchase from my Etsy shop

This painting reminds me of the Sesame Street character, Elmo.  Big eyes, big nose, all it needs are irises and pupils.  Not the right colours for Elmo of course, but shapes create forms that remind us of other shapes.  And it makes me smile each time I look at it.  This painting is 5" x 7" on stretched canvas in oil.

Eggs are such a part of life now as the 'ladies' in the barn produce more than could possibly be eaten and there is a steady stream of people lining up wanting fresh eggs.

Eggs are quite remarkable creations and the original convenience food.  Here are a few things you may or may not know about chickens and eggs, based on questions that are often asked at the farm.
  1. You do not need a rooster with a flock of hens for them to produce eggs.  The hens produce infertile eggs without a rooster present. And roosters are usually pretty nasty birds. Or so I think...perhaps its the scar on my leg that influences me...
  2. Fertile eggs look and taste no different than infertile eggs.  
  3. The application of heat on eggs less than 10 days old, if fertile, will start the growth within.  A hen usually lays up to a week's worth of eggs before sitting on them for hatching.
  4.  It takes 21 days for a hen's egg to hatch.
  5. Brown shelled and white shelled eggs are no different in taste or nutritional value.  The colour of the shell comes from the breed of bird.  The yolk colour can be affected somewhat by the food that the hen eats.
  6. Want your own Omega 3 eggs? Toss the hens a handful of flax seed each day.  Voila!  It takes a hen approximately 24 hours to produce an egg.
  7. Hens occasionally lay double yolked eggs.  This is usually from a young hen just starting the laying cycle and doesn't continue often.
  8. Hens lay according to length of daylight.  In natural light they lay most in spring and summer then trail off to nothing in winter.  To induce laying, timed artificial light is used to imitate longer day length.
  9. Chickens are vicious killers.  If they see another bird in distress, they will attack and kill it, including their own chicks.
  10. Like most birds, chickens share a great deal of DNA with their lizard ancestors, however, according to a July 2010 story in the Times & Transcript, recent DNA analysis shows that T-Rex and chickens are such extremely close cousins biologically that “science has no choice but to acknowledge that birds are, in reality, dinosaurs, not just critters evolved from them.” 
This is the last post til early next week as I'll be away for a  few days, going to Manitoba for work. Hopefully I'll find some time to become inspired by some new things while I'm away.  Fitting in sketching is a challenge as the schedule is so hectic, but I'll try to take advantage of some quiet moments to capture a sense of the place.


Sandra said...

Wow! We have three chickens, all excellent layers and yet I didn't rea;ise how little I knew about them! I really enjoyed this post and the painting is amazing. This egg is unmistakeably fresh :0)

Jeanette said...

Raising chickens and eggs for years, I've gotten to know the ins and outs, though they still puzzle me at times.

A fresh egg is unmistakeable compared to older ones, isn't it?

RH Carpenter said...

I got to see a lovely painting and learn a little bit more about chickens, in the process! Thanks for sharing :) I didn't see a face in the painting until you pointed it out - just that lovely glowing orange-yellow yolk (which has made me hungry for eggs right now!). Have a good trip.

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

I've often thought of painting a cracked open egg. Yours if perfect. I have drawn one, but the egg white was impossible .... you have made this look so easy.
Great job Jeanette.


elmo ! ..challenging to paint jeanette.. agree with nancy you've made it look easy .