In this episode we share the story of a young hen who is getting a prosthetic leg and then talk about saving eggs for winter.
A Wet Month
The rain presents some interesting challenges for us in August and September every year. For one thing, it rains daily… sometimes several times daily. The constant rain makes it difficult to get out and mow the lawn, which is unfortunate because the rain also makes the grass grow incredibly fast. Through these two months, it is quite necessary to mow all five acres every three days.
Another challenge of the rain is that is drives all the fireants above ground in search of someplace dry. It seems that their favorite spot is out chicken coops. Every time we go out to feed the chickens and collect eggs, we have to be careful not to put out hand into a pile of the nasty little critters.
A Prosthetic Leg for Cicily
Cicely is a young pullet who was hatched with tendon problems in one of her legs. The issue is a permanent and serious deformity that would certainly prevent Cicely from being a normal chicken. So Cicely’s owners took her to a local school of veterinary medicine where aspiring young vets said that they could either euthanize her, or try to create a 3-D printed prosthetic leg.
The cost of the prosthetic leg is $2,500, and Cicely’s owners happily paid it to save Cicely from the chopping block. All I can say is that Cicely better be one heck of an egg layer.
Storing Eggs for Winter
We are sneaking up on that time of year when the days get shorter and the hens start to slow down or cease their egg production for the winter. If you think ahead, you can store up some of your extra eggs now so you won’t be one of those sad people buying pale and disgusting eggs from the grocery store in a few months.
One method of making eggs go the distance is put them in the refrigerator. Although store bought eggs only last about 45 days in the fridge, farm fresh eggs can usually last up to six months. The reason is that farm fresh eggs have a protective layer called the “bloom” that protects it from bacteria. Store bought eggs have this layer removed, so they do not last as long.
As long as you don’t wash it off yourself, your farm fresh eggs still have the bloom intact. It is the reason you can leave them on your kitchen counter for 90 days and they are still good to eat. If you place them in the fridge, they will last twice as long.
If you do this, it is a good idea to put the eggs in a container of some sort. Since you did not wash them, you probably don’t want the outside of the egg rolling around and coming in contact with your meats, cheese, and veggies. Ick!
A way to make eggs last even longer is to freeze them. You can do this by simply cracking a bunch of eggs into a bowl. Give them a gentle stir to mix up the eggs but not so vigorously that you whip air into the mixture.
To help stabilize the yolk, you can add a half a teaspoon of salt for each egg you are saving, but this is optional.
Separate the mixture into batch sizes that will make sense when you thaw them. Store them in containers or in freezer bags and pop them in the freezer. You can also freeze them in ice cube trays and then pop out the cubes into freezer bags for storage.
When it comes time to use thaw and use them, three tablespoons of mixture equals one egg. And a typical ice cube is one tablespoon.