I am delighted that the chickens have decided to lay again! They took a little break during the darkest time of the year, which is normal, but recently have been cranking out a few eggs a day.
Every day when Rob brings in the eggs,they are placed on the counter in a bowl. When I get ready to wash the eggs, I place the bowl in the sink and run tepid water on them so they can soak. Many sources say to not wash your eggs because they keep better unwashed. Mine have chicken droppings on them, so I choose to wash them off. Some sources say that if you are going to wash them, use lukewarm water so that the pores are not opened with hot water, impurities don’t enter, and the cold water doesn’t close the pores, trapping in the impurities. I have no idea if that’s true, but it sounds sensible, so I use lukewarm water.
I have an old toothbrush that I use for egg washing, only. I just gently scrub each soaked egg while holding it under a small stream of tepid water. Sometimes stains remain. I’m fine with that. I air-dry them on a towel and then put into cartons in the garage fridge, or into the egg keeper in the refrigerator in the kitchen.
We had to buy one 5-dozen package of eggs from Costco this winter when the chickens were not laying. I didn’t even get them finished before they started up again, so I probably could have survived without buying any, but we had no way of telling when they would start again. They are very light sensitive, the days are getting longer again, and this batch of hens is less than 1 year old, so we knew they would lay some more, we just didn’t know when exactly.
Since we have been paying for feed all along, I am delighted to be entering that time of year when I have all the eggs I want. I also give them away when I have an overabundance, so my sister is happy, too.
4 thoughts on “Eggs Again”
That’s wonderful that your hens are laying again. I think it is still too cold around here. Farm-fresh eggs are so much nicer than store bought. I’m hoping one day the village will allow us to keep chickens. A man up the street keeps them, but it’s against the ordinance. That’s what I hate about this village, it’s so corrupt; it’s who you know. Another man that wasn’t so well-connected was fined $5000 for keeping chickens.
Oh well, thankfully my son gives us some of his and there’s a farmer down the road that sells free-range eggs.
I heard that you aren’t supposed to wash the eggs too, until you are ready to use them. But I’m with you, the droppings have to be washed off. Shouldn’t be any problem anyway, since you use yours right away.
Wow! $5000 wouldn’t be worth a few eggs. You could buy quite a few, even organic, for that!!!:)
Mine actually keep for weeks, even after I wash them, so I wonder how long they would last if I didn’t. I have heard of pioneers on the Oregon Trail packing them in cornmeal for the journey, but I don’t know how long into the journey they lasted. I guess they just used the cornmeal until they got to some more eggs, and then ate the eggs.
Becky, I work at a pioneer village as an interpreter. We do demos on how the pioneers used lard smeared on the outer shell to preserve the eggs for up to one year in a cool pantry. If you watch the “Edwardian Farm” (or “Victorian Farm”, not sure which), in one of the episodes Ruth Goodman talks about preserving eggs long term as well, using a lye solution I think.
The science behind it is that if you close up the pours, air doesn’t get in and cause the eggs to spoil over time. There are lots of articles on-line that discuss different methods on how to do this, if you wanted to do some research and maybe an experiment. It might save you from having to buy eggs when the hens aren’t laying. Just thought I’d share.
Do you know if they washed the eggs before they smeared them with lard?