Thanks Easter Bunny! (er, chicken)

Just look at the wonderful surprise we found this evening!

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We were just going to refresh the hay in the house, but when we lifted the lid, here were these 5 little gems waiting for us! That’s Khloe (our Alpha hen). She seems to be saying, “Look what we’ve been up to while you were gone!”

 These are the very FIRST eggs we’ve gotten from our girls! We knew they were going to be ready soon. Their combs have been getting much pinker and they’ve been eating like crazy! (I had read those were a couple of ways to tell when they’re about to start laying.) We weren’t expecting them to begin for another month or so though, so this really was a surprise! I’m wondering if all 5 might belong to Khloe. She’s about 2 weeks older than Kim and Kourtney. Either way, 5 eggs since Sunday isn’t too bad a start I think.

The eggs are the cutest things I’ve ever seen! They are small, and don’t seem to weigh too much more than styrofoam. I cracked one open just to take a look at it, and it has a beautiful orange yolk and thick white. I’ll have to post a pic of the next one I crack.

The eggs are a bit…shall we say “poopy”.

poopy

So, I have a few questions for the more experienced egg gatherers out there:

  1. I know eggs will keep on the counter as long as you don’t wash the bloom off of them. But, should I go ahead and wash the poop off? Clean eggs on the counter seem cute; poopy ones – not so much.
  2. What should I wash them with? Plain water? Add a little vinegar?
  3. After they’re washed, will they still keep on the counter? How clean do they have to be to get through the bloom?
  4. How long do they typically keep on the counter (unwashed or washed)?
  5. How long do they keep in the fridge (washed or unwashed)?

We are just so stinking egg-cited! I had JUST purchased a dozen eggs at the store last week, and I had told my husband that I hoped that was the LAST eggs I ever had to buy at the grocery store! The girls must have heard me! They’re so good to me!

So, we now have 3 hens that are laying age, 1 that’s about a month younger than them, and 2 little baby chicks that I just purchased 2 weeks ago. Not bad, I’d say. Once we get ourselves a surplus of eggs, we’ll probably start selling them. A few people have expressed interest in buying our wonderful brown, nutritious eggs from our spoiled rotten hens! Might be nice to have a little extra cash to put toward the purchase of our forever home homestead!

I hope you can sense my excitement! I’m just giddy! I’ve loved and cared for these girls since they were wee little chicks. And now, they’ve grown into beautiful ladies, contributing and paying back in their own special way to the homestead. They’re no longer pets, they’ve become partners.

Thanks in advance for answering my questions. Any ideas, thoughts, or advice are always welcome here!

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7 thoughts on “Thanks Easter Bunny! (er, chicken)

  1. Thanks for all the advice everyone! This is such an incredible and rewarding experience. We KNOW these are quality eggs because we KNOW exactly what these girls eat and how they are cared for. It certainly does raise the appreciation level of “making” our own food. We know we can produce a lot of quality naturally grown veggies in our garden, and with the addition of fresh eggs, we’re adding one more level of self-reliance! Now there’s one MORE thing we never have to purchase at the grocery store AGAIN! 🙂

  2. I agree with naturalpfg. I only wash when I really have too (the pooh won’t scrap off) then I refrigerate those right away and usually use them first. Keeping the bedding in the nest box really clean will help and yes, just wipe off any stuff with a dry paper towel. Congratulations!!! 🙂

  3. Congrats! I don’t have good advice about washing eggs, but I have just started collecting my first ever eggs and know your excitement. Looks like you are doing things right, and I guess my best advice would do a bunch of reading up on egg washing and make a plan – there’s a bunch of strategies out there.

  4. maplecreekcottage

    p.s. I LOVE that you named them after the Kardashian sisters. Now I can say I’m Keeping up with the Kardashian’s without puking a little in my mouth!!

    1. Heeheehee! I had Khloe first, and had already named her. So when I got the other two, it just seemed too fun and silly not to name them Kim and Kourtney. We make all kind of diva jokes about them! 🙂

  5. maplecreekcottage

    1. I read a couple of different articles on the issue of poop and that it could be a telltale sign of worms. Perhaps if you tried a wormer, you would rid yourself of the poop issue. Also, lots of straw in the bedding, and daily collection are both key.
    2. We just rinse with warm water and a soft yellow sponge IF we have to, and usually only the poopy spot.
    3. We normally would refridgerate the washed ones, or eat them that day. If there is ever a slightly cracked egg we often use it as a dog treat at evening collection. She does some good tricks for this!
    4. I’ve heard they keep or three weeks unwashed, but realistically they’re probably not going to last three days before some one consumes them – at least not in this house!
    5. Again, they never last! The most time we’ve ever left them is a week, and we actually store them in our utility room which is cool enough on it’s own.

    Currently we get a little less than two dozen eggs per day, and that doesn’t even begin to come close to meeting the demand!
    Good luck, it’s such a rewarding little part of starting out!

  6. Collect the eggs at least daily and make sure there is a lot of bedding in the nests. That’s the best way to keep the eggs clean. Collecting often also keeps the hens from breaking the eggs.

    If they do have detritus on them, simply brush this off cloth.

    Eggs are laid with what is called a “bloom” which naturally protects it. This is the coating on the egg shell that seals its pores. Also known as the cuticle, it helps to prevent bacteria from getting inside the shell and reduces moisture loss from the egg keeping it fresher longer.

    So if you don’t have to wash them, don’t.

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