updated 11/27/2012 AT 9:00 PM ET
•originally published 11/29/2012 AT 2:45 PM ET
As the mother of a toddler, Ellen Pompeo is often forced to wake up early – with a little help from her rooster.
During Tuesday’s appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the actress, 43, dished about owning several hens and one male rooster, a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by one of her neighbors.
“I have this other neighbor who I don’t know and still don’t know and she emailed me one day and said, ‘I don’t have my rooster anymore,’” Pompeo told Ellen DeGeneres. “ ‘But my hens are very depressed because the rooster isn’t around, can I take an egg, a fertilized egg?’”
Unsure of how to respond, the Grey’s Anatomy star simply obliged, writing, “Nice to meet you too. Come and get an egg.”
While Pompeo went on to say she wasn’t at home when the neighbor came to collect, DeGeneres suggested the woman was just looking to get a look at the star’s impressive chicken set-up in her backyard.
“They do have a very secure coop that was built by a wonderful contractor,” Pompeo said. “The chicken wire has to go like 3-feet deep to make sure that no rodents [get in] but I do let them roam free for a part of the day because they get agitated if they’re all cooped up.”
“They’re in the coop most of the time for their safety,” she continued, noting that hawks are a concern, but, “they roam free and they get their worms and things like that.”