When I was a senior in college I was chosen for an internship with our local Cooperative Extension. My intention at the time was to intern for our Ranch, but thankfully I had a wonderful advisor that pointed out how much experience I would gain if I spread my wings and tried something new. I ended up working for the Cooperative Extension, part-time, for a couple years. I’m so grateful for that opportunity.
For those of you not familiar with the Cooperative Extension – it offers agricultural education and information to farmers, ranchers and the general public from land grant based universities. There are many different facets to the Cooperative Extension including 4-H, master gardeners, and nutrition programs. My internship allowed me to work with the 4-H program, the Farm Advisors and to dabble in the nutrition program. It was mind blowing.
The topics that I gained the most knowledge in during my employment with the Farm Advisors were olives, almonds and chickens. We’ve always had chickens on the Ranch, but my knowledge until that point was pretty elementary. I mean I knew I had a strong aversion to big, mean roosters that would attack me as I gathered eggs, but my poultry science knowledge was weak, at best. Of course, my first assignment for my internship was to create comprehensive chicken handout for the public. *Facepalm*
I got through it. I researched, read and learned. My chicken handout was deemed worthy! I got paid to learn (pretty much my most favoritist thing ever). I was able to take the skills and knowledge I acquired from the Farm Advisors and use it on the Ranch! This comes in handy when something weird happens.
Occasionally we get an egg with an issue. This time is was a shell-less egg, an egg in only a membrane. This can be caused by several factors including immature or defective shell glad, disturbances to the hen that cause her to lay her egg before it is calcified, poor nutrition or a disease. Most likely this was a freak thing, its wintertime and has been raining, the light (or lack of) probably affected the hen’s cycles. We’ll know today when she lays another egg.
A fun egg/chicken fact for you is a chicken’s earlobe is an indication of what color the chicken’s egg will be? Eggs can come in a multitude of colors including white, brown, blue, and green. The nutritional content has nothing to do with the color of the egg, but a lot to do with the chicken’s diet.
On a side note here, I’d like to thank my Mom for taking these pictures! Thanks Mom!