For me it always brings back memories of putting on one of Gran's house dresses and going down to get the eggs. I'd stuff them in the pockets and try to walk stiff legged so they wouldn't clank together and make scrambled egg in my pocket. I'm a bit ashamed to say that I still do the same thing as an adult and there have been times I put a jacket on only to discover an egg of mysterious origin in my pocket. Worse is when I've been working and all of the sudden there's a crunch and raw egg soaking my clothes. Gran had Domineckers, and yes I know it's really Dominique but that's what she called them, and I do believe they were a hateful breed all their own. They would set to pecking my pudgy fingers as I'd grope under them for eggs. They would fuss and carry on, yet be my best pals when we'd throw scratch in the evening. Chickens are fickle.
Around here we have a lot of broodies just now. A broody hen is a lesson in the ferocity of motherhood. The same hen that is timid and runs if you move too fast will turn into a feathery ball of anger if she is sitting on a nest or even more on chicks. When I was a kid, like now, I could hardly contain myself when we had chicks. Gran warned me that a mother hen wouldn't accept a chick back if you got your scent on it. It's an old wives tale probably meant to keep grubby hands from breakable chicks, but it barely kept me in check. I'd always wind up snatching one so that I could hold it and pet it's little fluff. Sometimes I'd get caught by the hen and get a flogging but worse was to be caught by Gran and sent to the corner. The humiliation of standing in the "corner", which was really putting my nose to the crack between the refrigerator and the wall, was pretty bad. I'd prefer the flogging from the chicken.
It doesn't hurt by the way, flogging is mostly intimidation. I did get hurt once, Gran sent me to crawl under the smokehouse to rob a broody and when she came at me all feathers and claws I really didn't have anywhere to go. I wound up putting my arms in front of my face and she scratched me up a bit. Nothing I hadn't done wading into blackberries but still I wouldn't recommend it.
Along with the chickens going all spring on me the geese are broody. I have a goose named Peachy and her mate a gander named Lippy and they have a son Junior. Peachy and her son both sit on eggs in the spring. Since he can't lay eggs he steals them so his nest will sometimes have chicken and goose eggs in it. So far he's not hatched anything but he is dedicated and last year stayed on a nest for nearly 2 months. We have a theory that he's trying to hatch a girlfriend. Every day is an egg hunt because the broody hens and the broody goose are all hiding their eggs. The goose is the worst as she buries hers under leaves and twigs so you have to poke around to uncover them. It's like an Easter egg hunt with a master of camouflage. Her mate Lippy is doing his part by counting coup on anything or anyone that comes up the drive. He puts his head down and wings out hissing and as long as whatever he's after keeps moving away the chase is on. The downside to this is that Lippy has the body of a goose but the heart of a chicken and once you turn around to face him he runs. Yesterday I looked out my window to see him chasing the 2 little dogs up the drive, a few seconds later he came back with them in hot pursuit. He was having to fly a little to keep ahead!
Well there's eggs to gather so I better get moving...