23 May, 2013

Save an Egg or 12

We've been getting so many eggs, upwards of nearly a dozen a day which is what we dreamed about when first starting chickens. We're to the point that we can spare & share & even give out some birds as they were given out to us. It has just taken us 3 years to get here & we're glad of the learning curve that we've been given. What I have noticed is due to the heat, the chickens all go off laying in July, so I'm trying an experiment to prepare for that.

How did people preserve their eggs before refrigeration? Ideally there would have been a spring house but most generally there was a root cellar or cold pit. This involves something of egg science. The freshly laid egg is covered w/ a protective bloom which allows the egg to not go bad while the hen builds up enough eggs for her to sit on a full clutch. As the chick develops the bloom wears off so oxygen & waste exchange can occur on the shells surface.

 The supermarket suppliers wash off the bloom of the eggs to keep them clean & in so doing allow the egg to spoil at a faster rate causing you to buy more eggs if they've been sitting too long. Eggs like a high humidity which is the type of environment a refrigerator is working against.

 As our eggs do not always leave the hen house sparkling clean (hint to change the straw) I also wash them off in cool water to remove whatever was stuck to the chicken feet. Cool water, not warm as warm water will open the pores of the chicken shells & let in whatever it is you're trying to wash off.

 I've then coated them liberally w/ mineral oil. I have read that there are different types of mineral oil & that some are petroleum by-products which you wouldn't want on your shells. Ours is labeled as intestinal lubricant so it has my confidence.

See them shine? They are then placed pointy end down in a carton & I've got it marked in my planner to flip them over at the first of every month. This keeps the yolk from settling to the sides & falling apart or keeping the air bubble inside intact, I dis-remember which, but it is important.

Date the carton.
And that's it! I'm keeping some in my pantry & some will go in the root cellar & I'll try to remember to report back on success or failure.


Judy said...

Oh, this reminds me. I need to go check on my lime/salt preserved (I hope) eggs. Hmmmmm. Please let us know how the mineral oil treatment works out.

Judy On Big Turtle Creek

Mrs. V said...

Lime & salt? Do you have a post on that? I'll crack a couple in July & every month thereafter to see.