Previous episode: Lucy Raises Chickens         Next episode: Ragtime Band


There's trouble with the potential egg business. Since baby chicks can't lay eggs until they're six months old, the gang trades in the chicks for full-grown hens. But the hens aren't laying any eggs. Ricky and Fred are feuding, and the threat exists of the Mertzes having to go back to New York if the hens don't lay any eggs soon. So, to help things along until the hens start getting into action, Lucy and Ethel decide to buy a bunch of eggs and sneak them out to the hen house. Fred's out back, so they can't just take the eggs in the cartons. They decide instead to hide the eggs in their clothes. Just as the girls finish stuffing their clothes with eggs, Ricky comes home and wants to practice the tango routine he and Lucy are doing for the PTA. Lucy reluctantly agrees, and when Ricky slams Lucy against his chest at the end of the song, he is met with the messy surprise of broken eggs in Lucy's shirt. Fred hits Ethel's back pockets, which are filled with eggs, by knocking into her from the kitchen door.

When it looks like the hens will have to be sold, Little Ricky is sad. He thinks of the hens as pets. He and Bruce Ramsey decide to hide the chickens all over their houses, so they can't be given away. Ricky and Fred accuse one another of being chicken thieves when they discover the hidden chickens. Betty Ramsey ends the argument by telephoning and saying that the Ricardos' chickens are all over her house, too. Ricky and Fred make up, and then the unthinkable happens- the hens are laying a ton of eggs! The Mertzes can stay, after all!


  • This episode contains the longest laugh in the show's history, at a total of 65 seconds. It occurs when Lucy gets the eggs smashed at the end of the tango. The laugh was so long that part of it had to be cut out.
  • Lucy's disgusted and shocked reaction to the eggs breaking from the tango is genuine. To keep her and Vivian's reaction "real," the women never practiced with raw eggs. This is similar to how Lucy didn't practice with real grapes until filming time in episode #150.
  • Fred and Ricky trade in the 500 baby chicks for 200 hens.
  • Ricky and Fred aren't just arguing because the hens have only laid six eggs so far. Part of their feud is about Ricky wanting Fred to pay rent until the hens start laying eggs.
  • The gang plans to sell the eggs for 60 cents a dozen.
  • Bruce Ramsey suggests hiding the hens to Little Ricky, because, when the Ramseys' cat had kittens and Ralph wanted to sell the kittens, Bruce ended up hiding them as a way to keep them.
  • We learn in this episode that Fred is an Irishman. While William Frawley was very proud of displaying his Irish heritage, Fred Mertz never is said to be of Irish stock until now.


  • Ricky: Well, I don't think we should look THAT sultry [while doing the tango].

Lucy: Why not?

Ricky: Look, honey- we're doin' this dance for Little Ricky's PTA. We don't wanna have the school rated!

  • Ricky: More feed?

Ethel: Yup. Fred said you gotta put somethin' into chickens if you wanna get somethin' out of them.

  • Lucy: No wonder those little chicks looked so wild-eyed when I put 'em on the nest and said, "Come on- give!"
  • Fred: Well, now, there won't be any profits. So, until the chickens start layin', I think you ought to pay me a salary, right?

Ricky: Wrong!

  • Fred: What do you expect me to do? Squeeze the eggs out of 'em?

Ricky: You're the expert- do somethin'!

Fred: I've done everything but jump up and sit in the nest with 'em!

  • Lucy: Well, anyway, we're getting our breakfast [eggs] for nothing.

Ricky: For nothin'?! Listen- with the cost for the feed, the money that I spent fixing the hen house, the extra heat and electricity, and the money that we lost by switching the 500 baby chickens for the 200, I figured out each one of those breakfasts is costin' $18 a piece!

  • Lucy: You got one more day.

Ethel: Yeah, Fred. Instead of packin', maybe you better get out there to that chicken house and give those hens a pep talk.

Lucy: Yeah, look- why don't you try scarin' 'em? Walk through the hen house with a sign that says, "Fryers for sale!"

  • Ricky: Chickens! I should have raised somethin' I knew about, like sugar cane.
  • Lucy: You know, [the hens] could [lay eggs], if we helped them.

Ethel: Lucy, I have never laid an egg in my life, and I refuse to start tryin' now!

  • Ethel: [Sneaking eggs in the hen house]'ll only delay the inevitable one more day.

Lucy: Well, in the meantime, maybe our hens will warm up an dour men will cool down.

  • Ethel: [Fred]'s takin' a nap.

Lucy: How do you know that?

Ethel: It's after lunch and before dinner- what else would he be doin'?

  • Ethel: (sees Fred outside chopping wood) He's supposed to be takin' a nap! Can't he ever do anything right?!
  • Ethel: Hey, I can get a dozen [eggs] in one pocket!
  • Ethel: How do I look [with the eggs in my pockets]?

Lucy: Well, whatever you do, don't try to walk like Marilyn Monroe!

  • Ricky: It's either now or never [to practice the tango].

Lucy; Well, then make it never!

  • Ricky: What were you doing with eggs under your shirt?

Lucy: Tryin' to hatch 'em?

  • Ricky: Ethel, are you carrying eggs, too?

(Fred comes through kitchen door, hitting Ethel on the butt)

Ethel: I was...

  • Ricky: How'd [the chicken feathers] get here?

Fred: Don't ask me! You know what a miserable housekeeper Ethel is!

  • Ricky: (finds hen in hat box) My, what a lovely hat!
  • Fred: I defy you to find another [chicken] in this house!

(chicken bawks somewhere in hen house)

Ricky: (to hen he's holding) You got some friends around here?

  • Fred: Just a minute! Just a chicken-pickin' minute!
  • Ethel: Well, I guess friends should never go into business together.

Lucy: Yeah, I guess you're right. I wonder how Sears and Roebuck handled it?

Ethel: Well, for one thing, Sears wasn't a stubborn Irishman and Roebuck wasn't a hot-tempered Latin.

  • Fred: (ready to fight) Well, step outside!

Ricky: We just came IN from outside!

  • Ethel: Fred didn't steal any chickens! Did you, Fred?
  • Ethel: If there's one thing Fred isn't, and there's ONLY one thing Fred isn't, it's a chicken thief!
  • Ricky: Gee, Fred, I'm sorry I called you a chicken thief.

Fred: Oh, that's alright, Rick. I've been called worse things by Ethel!

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