By April 28, 2012 Read More →

Eggs on the Homestead – Tips and Tricks

Adding to Storage this week:
1. 6 Boxes of Salt
2. 12 cans of coffee
3. 25 pounds of rice

Canning and Drying:
Collard Greens
Grapefruit juice
Strawberry Jam

Eggs from our Backyard Hens

When you have hens, the eggs are already there at the ready.  Sometimes we have more and sometimes less depending on conditions and situations.  A hen may go broody and want to sit on eggs, not necessarily lay any.  Since we do not have roosters (too much noise for urban life) those eggs are not going to hatch.  There are also times when the hens go through molt and the eggs will be few.  Weather plays a large part as well.  Rainy or cooler weather happens and there are fewer eggs.

For the most part, we can depend on a set number depending on the number of hens.  We keep Rhode Island Red hens and they give us large brown eggs, (also being a good meat chicken) and Americana hens, the easter egg chicken producing blue, green and pink eggs.  We feed the girls leftovers, oats, wheat, corn, and green stuff from the garden.  They are not fed commercial layer feed because some or most of that has hormones and antibiotics.  They would probably lay more eggs but to us, it is just not worth it.  Hens need grain every day and if they get plenty of green stuff too, you will have the most beautiful yellow yolk eggs for breakfast.

The secret to cooking delicious eggs are slow temperatures.  Cook that egg over low to medium heat and you will have something worth waiting for.  To boil eggs, bring them to a boil for one minute and then cover them and turn off the heat.  This makes perfect hard boiled eggs, but choose older ones so they are easier to peel.

Rhode Island Red Hen

Do you want to know how old the egg is?  Fill a bowl with water and add the egg to observe what it does:

  • Fresh eggs will sink to the bottom of the bowl and probably lie on their sides.
  • Slightly older eggs (about one week) will lie on the bottom but bob slightly.
  • If the egg balances on its smallest tip, with the large tip reaching for the top, it’s probably close to three weeks old.
  • Eggs that float at the surface are bad and should not be consumed.

Where do you get your eggs?

Have you considered backyard chickens?

Posted in: Homesteading

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