Friday, February 26, 2016

Hens and eggs

I only have 6 laying hens, which is plenty for us. We don't even eat all the eggs they give us, when they are in the mood to do so. However, I'm always disappointed when we don't get any eggs at all.

When they go into moult, the egg production goes down and sometimes stops completely. Also, shorter winter days will slow them down. We don't add light to the coop for them. We figure they need the break to rejuvenate, grow feathers and fat, and gain new strength for the next go 'round of egg laying. So, while they are laying well, I put eggs in the freezer. These eggs are good for baking, cooking scrambled, or making egg-based casseroles. I use single portion cups for this that I get at the large chain store you're all familiar with, or I order them online.

I break an egg into a white coffee cup first, to check and make sure it's a good egg. Then, I add a pinch of salt and use a fork to very gently break the yolk and stir it a bit into the white. This method helps prevent the yolks from turning gummy. Then I put the egg into the portion cup (these are 2 ounce cups), put on the lid, and stack them in the freezer. Here's a picture of them, ready to freeze.

Even when thawed, they are very appetizing.

After a short winter hiatus, the hens are again laying. Even the very old one that lays green eggs gave us a lovely green egg yesterday, so I hope we get one today, too. I was out there this morning and gathered 3 eggs from 2 nests.

In a few weeks I'll be saving a few to see if one of the hens will set the eggs so we can have a few more chickens for egg laying and for meat. I'll update when we get that project started. I do have a couple of hens who love to hatch eggs and take care of babies.

Check back often for other updates on the Mini Homestead!

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