Column Classic: Scrambled Eggs

By Lisa Scottoline

The hits just keep on coming at the Scottoline farm, where the animals outnumber the people.

They like it that way.

I don’t, especially when I wonder who’s running the joint. The only thing I’m sure of is who’s paying the bills.

Right now the chickens are in charge.

Because bottom line, they’re not producing any eggs. 

Neither am I, but that’s another subject. No one’s counting on me for breakfast.

The chickens have no excuse. They still have estrogen. 

By the way, my chickens might not be laying eggs, but my snakes are.


In fact, just today I found a molted snakeskin in the garden.

Don’t you hate it when your snakes leave their clothes around?

To return to story, one day my chickens stopped laying eggs, which bugged me.


They have it great, in that they’re a small flock of fifteen and they live in a big wooden coop.

For free.

They also have a large outdoor run, so they can exercsie.

Like a gym that you actually use.

Also it takes work to keep chickens, in that their coop has to be cleaned, and they have to be fed and given fresh water, so the least they could do is squeeze out an egg or two every day, like they used to before they started slacking.

By the way, don’t get the idea that I do all the work for the chickens, because I hire someone to do that, as I am too busy and/or lazy, and if you think it’s easy to pay people to do all the work you are too busy/lazy to do, you need to think again.

But then one day, I went to the coop, noticed some broken eggshells, and realized that the chickens were laying eggs – but eating them themselves.

They were the Hannibal Lecters of chickens.

Hennibal Lechters!

This had never happened before, and I had no idea what to do about it. I started checking the coop twice a day, trying to beat the chickens to the eggs, but they won every time.

I can’t outsmart a chicken.

Still wanna read my books?

I did some research online, and it said that chickens could develop a habit of eating their own eggs and the only way to break them of it was by mixing some eggs with Tabasco sauce, pouring the eggs  back into an eggshell, and returning it to the henhouse.

So I did that.

Yes, I made eggs for chickens.

I made food for what other people think is food.

Plus I delivered it to them like room service.

Remind me again who’s ruling the roost.

Anyway, it didn’t work. The chickens ate even more eggs, and I got the distinct impression that they would’ve also enjoyed a side of home fries, buttered wheat toast, and a cup of hot coffee.

I went back the Internet, where it said you could also try training them not to eat their eggs by replacing their eggs with golf balls.  


So I dug up some of my golf balls from last year’s lessons and put them in the coop, but the next thing that happened was that the hens began fighting over which one got to sit on the golf balls.

News flash, chickens like club sports.

The hens sat on the golf balls all day long, and I couldn’t get the balls from them without being pecked, and when I succeeded, the balls were so hot they were practically hardboiled.

Yum. Cooked Titleist.

Yet again, I went back to the Internet and found out that you could buy a fake wooden egg that was guaranteed to train chickens out of eating their own eggs, so I ordered a few.

And it worked!

Today my fake egg yielded a real egg.

Evidently I tricked my chickens.

That makes me the trickiest chick of all.

© Copyright, Lisa Scottoline