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  • Writer's pictureMissy Blankenship

First Egg!!

We got our first egg yesterday. It was very exciting.






Couple of things about this first egg. First, the color - isn't it beautiful? The color tells us who laid the egg, because we only have one Easter Egger. The rest of our hens should lay brown eggs. What's even more special about this egg is that it is GREEN! Easter Eggers will generally lay various shades of pink or blue eggs, but certain hens, called Olive Eggers, will lay green eggs. So we knew Louise was an Easter Egger, but we didn't know she was an Olive Egger. Also, you should know that Easter Eggers are generally considered the "mutts" of the chicken world. They are the result of combinations of certain blue laying breeds with brown laying breeds. So there's no standard "look" to Easter Eggers, and no way we could really know beforehand that sweet Louise would lay this beautiful green egg.


The other things about this egg that you really can't tell from the pics is that it is very small. And this is super common for a first egg, in fact, many people call them "fairy eggs." Apparently it's not uncommon for the first egg to be missing the yolk, but this one did have a yolk, it was just all small. We scrambled it up, took a taste, and then treated our dogs with a tiny bit of scrambled egg on top of their dinner. They were very happy.


So now onto the Economics of eggs. (Micro students - take note!!!) If I were to calculate the ATC (average total cost) of this egg, it would be astronomical, because it would be carrying the entire fixed costs, plus the variable costs. And I will get that calculated, just not today. But remember, what we, as economists, are really concerned with are the marginal costs and marginal benefits. Remember, optimal decisions are made at the margin! And because when we see the word "marginal," we now know that we should think "additional" or "extra", we know that the marginal cost is the additional cost associated with this egg. So marginal is always associated with a change, and so the fixed costs don't figure in here. So all we are really considered with marginal cost is the variable costs, which are primarily feed at this point. And no, I haven't calculated that yet this morning. Quite frankly, this first egg caught me kind of off guard. I really wasn't expecting anyone to start laying in this heat. But even the marginal cost might seem to outweigh the marginal benefit, if you only consider a single egg. But again, benefits can be more than monetary, right? These chickens have given me a tremendous benefit from simply having them, not to mention all the bugs they eat. And Louise, our first egg layer, is super sweet and lets us pick her up and pet her, which certainly adds to my benefit!


But (bottom line for this morning), all of these people that are "homesteading", or even those of us just doing some backyard farming, are not doing this to save money! I follow some gardening/chicken folks on social media, and one in particular keeps talking about inflation and how she's beating inflation by growing her own food. Nope, it's not likely that anyone growing their own food can ever approach the economies of scale that are achieved by commercial production. But that's not all that it's about. It's about knowing exactly where your food comes from, and truly appreciating the work that goes into it. Both human and chicken.

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