I wanted some pretty egg laying machines to add to my laying flock after eating egg sales started to surpass expectation. To keep up with demand I needed something stellar – I needed some leghorns. The thing is I don’t really like leghorns. They’re usually all white birds who do well in heat but not so much in cold, often losing their fabulously large floppy combs and wattles to frostbite. They’re also know to be skittish and flighty. They are in essence the perfect bird to get if you’re running an industrial farm in Tennessee. But I could not argue with their egg laying capacity, so I looked to see if they came in any other colors. I was awe struck they came in two of my favorites – Mille Fleur and Isabella (called Porcelain in bantams, don’t ask me why.) I searched everywhere and found almost nothing. I found two sellers willing to sell a dozen eggs at auction for $100. Seriously?! You’re talking about a bird that lays almost an egg a day for two years straight… why on earth would I pay $100 for that?! This is where I get frustrated at people. Over and over again I see people selling their eggs at auction for outrageous prices whenever they need a buck or two. Almost never do I see anyone selling hatching eggs regularly for a sane price – which in the long run would be far more profitable! I mean if you can get $100 for a dozen hatching eggs once or twice great…. but you are raising a bird that each hen lays three hundred eggs a year. Just supposing you had one hen and rooster if you sold each dozen for $25 you’d still make $625 by the end of the year so asking $100 is well…. stupid.
After this I decided to go rogue. I Googled “Mille Fleur Leghorn Craigslist” so I could see any and all ads pertaining to the breed on all of Craigslist both close to home and across the country. I found someone in California and begged them for eggs. They thought I was a scammer at first but after some coaxing they said OK… and that’s how I ended up with two and a half dozen eggs shipped to me a few months later.
Six of the eggs were smashed in the box. Twelve of the eggs were infertile. Eight of the eggs hatched but of those three definitely aren’t mill fleurs (perhaps barnyard mixes!) and of the five that are correctly colored three are roosters… Here’s a photo of them – it’s blurry because despite being called “the most docile of the Leghorns” they’re freakin’ insane and won’t sit still for anything. You can see in the photo a few Seramas mixed in as well as those three dark brown wrong-colored ones. SIGH. I will not be pestering the inexperienced into sending me eggs again… (Though I will be crossing these with my Legbars to make for crazy colored “super blue” egg laying hens… Got to get something out of this!)