Acquiring farm fresh eggs to scramble, bake, or cook with is just one particular of the numerous joys that come from maintaining a flock of chickens or ducks. But, when and how you each gather and shop eggs plays a huge function in their longevity.
How Typically Need to You Gather Chicken Eggs?
Collecting chickens eggs really should be a day-to-day chore if you do not want to shed any, simply because they get cracked by poultry birds moving about in the coop or run. Ideally, you really should do it twice a day, as soon as in the morning, and a second time in the evening.
For the duration of the winter months, when temperatures dip effectively beneath freezing, you numerous require to verify for eggs up to 3 occasions per day to keep away from cracking triggered by intense cold.
Some farmers and homesteaders do not gather eggs additional than a couple of occasions per week in the course of the winter months simply because all breeds of poultry birds slow down their production cycle when the temperature dips beneath 50 degrees.
How to Gather Chicken Eggs
In any tv show or film you have watched that depicts farm life, people are frequently shown merely opening up a door on a nesting box, and simply reaching in to retrieve good clean eggs immediately without having a threat to bodily harm.
Oh, the magic of Hollywood.
The eggs you will be collecting on your homestead are not going to resemble the ones in the function photo I snapped for this post till immediately after you have washed away the “bloom” left on them by the laying hen – as almost certainly a teaspoon or so worth of bird feces and mud.
What the cameraman also neglects to capture on screen is the violent tendencies of broody hens. A good generally docile hen that does not want a human reaching in and snatching one particular of her eggs can actually be one thing to contend with people.
Some chicken keepers don their leather function gloves when collecting eggs not simply because they are afraid of finding their hands dirty, but to avert the hen from drawing blood.
The eggs beneath had been laid by one particular of my Bantam hens – her name was Soup. She was an all-star layer, uncomplicated keeper, and good tiny momma. She was the 1st chick we hatched on our survival homestead. Soup extremely courteously laid eggs in her nest and right away wanted to sit them
I had to have an individual else snatch them when she left her nesting box to get a bite to consume in the course of turnout in the morning – otherwise she would have fought to preserve them.
If I wanted to hatch eggs from a different hen breed that refused to sit them, I would just slip the eggs into her nesting box when she went out for meals or water. Soup was the only hen that would in fact lay eggs in her nesting box with any regularity.
A broody hen is a female bird that desires to preserve all of her eggs (even if she is sitting on 30 or additional!), and to raise her chicks. Some breeds of chickens are far additional prone to going broody than other folks.
As soon as a hen is prone to broodiness and you have forced her to relinquish her eggs at least one particular, she will probably quit laying her eggs in the uncomplicated to attain nesting box and commence dropping them elsewhere in the coop or run – frequently in a corner.
If you are forced to expose your complete physique to a broody hen – and her protective rooster, when collecting chicken eggs – under no circumstances, ever do so with uncovered legs and arms.
That sweet tiny hen that would sit on your shoulder and loved to be petted can go into complete Jeckel and Hyde mode more than her clutch of eggs.
Unless you have a tiny chicken coop and run, the sort that are assembled from a kit and placed in a suburban or tiny town backyard, hunting for eggs will no longer be only an Easter tradition.
Expecting the chickens to cooperate and lay eggs only in their nesting box frequently leads to good aggravation amongst keepers. If you are also raising ducks, it definitely is greatest to assume Never ever to come across an egg in the nest.
Ducks have a tendency to just drop an egg wherever they occur to be when the urge comes more than them. Only one particular Pekin duck hen (out of the almost 30 I have kept) ever laid eggs in a nest, and she only did that one particular time.
It has been stated that “nothing ever takes place in the country”. But that old phrase definitely is not correct, we just make our personal exciting out right here. Collecting chicken eggs can be really the adventure.
To show you what it definitely appears like attempting to gather eggs from a substantial poultry coop, I shot a tiny video footage this morning.
Though I was thankful my helper was capable to not yell curse words when my protective rooster attempted to thwart his efforts, I am nonetheless not positive how he pulled remaining tight lipped off really so effectively in the course of this encounter.
This is what you really should count on the collected chicken eggs to appear like most of the time when you go to the coup every morning:
How to Clean the Eggs
Cleaning them is uncomplicated. If they’re not that dirty, you really should surely dry clean them, simply because ti will preserve the eggs’ organic coating. Basically wipe the egg off with a cloth or a sponge. This will enable you to preserve it unrefrigerated.
If the egg is as well dirty, you numerous require to wash it beneath operating water for a tiny bit, then use a dry towel or a paper towel to eliminate moisture.
Egg Laying 101
Hens can commence laying eggs as quickly as they are six months old. As soon as a female chicken starts laying eggs she is no longer deemed a pullet – young female. She will continue to lay eggs all through her lifetime, but the laying cycles slows down substantially when the hen hits around 18 months old – and in the course of the winter.
The initial eggs a young hen lays will be smaller sized than these she produces later. Duck eggs are substantially bigger than chicken eggs, even these laid by breeds that make substantial or added substantial white eggs.
The white egg screen left is a duck egg and the brown egg screen proper was laid by a mature Buckeye chicken hen:
If you notice production shortages when collecting chicken eggs that are not due to hen age or winter climate, the birds may possibly be in a molting stage or experiencing a well being difficulty. Molting can final from 60 to 120 days, on typical.
I extremely suggest maintaining a record of not only egg production but the quantity of eggs every hen produces (if probable to identify) when finishing the day-to-day chicken eggs collection chore.
Such a record will aid you identify if laying is off and could alert you to a possibly contagious well being difficulty amongst the flock members.
What About Salmonella Poisoning?
This foodborne sickness really should be taken seriously, as it can be deadly. Each commercially raised and farm fresh chicken eggs you gather your self, can carry the salmonella bacteria.
When a hen lays an egg it comes out of her physique by means of the very same tract that excretes feces. The eggs you acquire at a grocery shop have been extensively washed to eliminate all of the fecal matter and dirt that can be on the shell of the egg. This also washes away the protective bloom or film that covers the egg when it is laid.
The bloom regulates how substantially oxygen gets by means of the shell of the egg – producing it probable to shop the egg at space temperature. Cleansed eggs have no protection against oxygen or bacteria and need to be kept refrigerated to make sure they are not exposed to temperatures more than 45 degrees – or bacteria can develop on and in the end inside the egg.
Ideally, you can preserve your farm fresh eggs in a cool dry spot if you do not cleanse them till every person one particular is about to be utilised. If you are unsure how old the collected egg could be or if it has been stored at low adequate of a temperature and the bloom has remained intact, do the sink or float test to come across out just before consuming.
How Lengthy Are Chicken Eggs Excellent For?
Usually, you can preserve chicken eggs or duck eggs out at space temperature for about 30 days just before they require to be eaten or placed in a refrigerator for fast use. Typically, it is suggested to consume eggs in two weeks immediately after getting laid when kept out at space temperature for each improved security and tastee.
1 old fashioned trick to test the viability of eggs to identify if they are protected to consume could or could not be backed by scientific proof – but has under no circumstances steered me incorrect. The sink or float test WILL eliminate the bloom from the farm fresh egg, producing it no longer viable to sit out at space temperature and stay protected to consume.
Chicken Egg Sink Or Float Test
Test your collected chicken eggs to see if they are fresh adequate to consume. The test is as straightforward as it is fast to total.
Basically fill a bowl with adequate cold water to cover about two inches above the eggs. If the eggs float, they are cracked or as well old to consume. If the eggs sink, they are probably only one particular to 3 days old and farm fresh adequate to consume.
Need to an egg stay submerged but stand up in the water, it is not usually deemed as well old to consume but is not specifically fresh and really should be consumed inside days.
As soon as the eggs have been placed in water to do the float test, their bloom has been washed away and they need to be refrigerated.
While egg production varies by breed, numerous hen varieties are capable of laying around 250 to 280 eggs per year.