The chickens have finished molting. Hurray we are back to getting eggs every day. It seems this molt took a lot longer than other years, at least we were without eggs for a long time. In other years I have put some eggs by for just such times, but this year I failed to do so.
To save eggs I wait until early spring when the fresh pasture makes the yolks brilliant orange. Then I break the eggs in a bowl 2, 3, or 4 at a time, gently scramble with a fork and pour into labeled freezer bags. This way if I want to make a quiche or bake something I’ll know how many eggs are in each bag. The eggs freeze beautifully and while they’ll never be poached or boiled they can be used in every other way as you would use a fresh egg. They keep in the freezer for at least 6 months. Going into this molt I had only these two bags of eggs on hand, which did not last long. It’s always a good idea to put a date on anything you freeze or can, but I see I neglected that step 😉 Generally speaking, we only freeze enough to have on hand for one lull of laying, but that does not excuse sloppy labeling.
[(edit): Oh my, I see I did put the date on one bag…and zoinkies, it says 09!! Shows to go ya just exactly why the date is important ;0 but I must say, we ate up the eggs without noticing any off flavor/texture, so there’s the other side of that coin]
While the hens were molting it came to pass that I needed to *gasp* buy eggs. At the farmers market honest to goodness free range organic eggs cost me $5.75 per dozen. I know the farmer is not making a lot of money on these eggs, even at this seemingly outrageous price. At the health food store local, organic, true free range eggs (meaning the chickens are not penned up in ANY way, which is what we do here) were $6.25 per dozen. I bought eggs at both places. And if you factor in the cost of feeding my hens while they were not laying the per dozen price shoots through the roof! Why not just by the eggs from the supermarket that are $1.29 per dozen? Well, once you get accustomed to really fresh eggs it is very hard to go back. Out of necessity, we used these expensive eggs sparingly.
We raise heritage/heirloom breed hens. They do not lay near as many eggs as the typical factory raised White Leghorns which lay about 300 eggs per year! We’re content with this arrangement. I just need to remember this coming spring to put some more eggs by. Do any of you have better ideas for keeping eggs on hand during the inevitable lulls?
Have a great day everyone…it’s almost the weekend 🙂