I do grocery shopping the manly way: I know exactly what I want, what shop I will get it in and where in the shop I’ll find it. I’ve got the in-and-out mentality, rather than browsing. I do compare the ingredients and do research on companies, though, but try to keep my time in the shops short. That’s also the reason I have no personal knowledge of the so-called egg shortage. For a long time now, I haven’t had occasion to look at egg shelves. We’ve got our own hens in the vicarage garden. They normally supply us with sufficient eggs. If they don’t we can count with a top-up of our egg provisions when visiting my parents. Late last year we had so many eggs that I regularly made quiche and various fruit cakes in which the sour fruit complements the egg beautifully: rhubarb, currants, gooseberries. Some of them went into the freezer to await times of less plenty. It seems those times have arrived now.
In December one of our hens became clucky and we decided to put some fertilised eggs under her. Only two chicks hatched. That happened while we were away (thank you Liz and Hank for looking after the chicks). Ever since the little chicks have been running around the enclosure, the other hens seem to have curtailed their egg production, so that we only get a few eggs now. My wife suggested that hens around the world have joined a go-slow protest.
It is at times such as these where even we city-dwellers think more about where our food comes from. It is not just an impersonal supply-chain that provides sufficient food in our trolley. We rely on farmers, on animals, on plants, on the land. In the Old Testament the provision from the land was seen as the central blessing. When we cannot get our food as cheaply as in the past, or when our hens do not lay as much, then maybe it is time to recognise that bounty we normally have.
While calves and lambs are mentioned specifically as signs of God’s blessing in the Bible, chicks are not. That’s probably because poultry did not become common in Israel until Persian times, likely after most of the Old Testament was written. The New Testament does mention poultry though.
I have no doubt that it is Biblical to see chicks and eggs as blessing.