Eggs from the Farm

Our Girls Lay Eggs!

Our chickens do indeed provide us with eggs. Many Eggs. Our chickens several dozen eggs a week!

It's a highlight of the day to watch a chicken emerge from where ever she is nesting, strut about, and then proclaim over and over how awesome she is for laying such a great egg. It never fails to raise a smile. They are so proud of those eggs!

Our chickens are free range, never caged, and generally live the life of Riley. They receive organic chicken food on free offer, but actually get most of their food from foraging, eating the selected table scraps we give them, going through the compost heap, picking up worms while we weed, snapping flies out of the air and more. Because the chickens are free range, they can be caught by the local coyotes. For a story about that, visit the page about Marti. However, our dog, Jaska, does a pretty good job of protecting them! In fact, she's fought off two bald eagles, that we know of, and rescued the chicken being attacked each time!

Our Eggs

We are pretty minimalist at FoxDog Farm when it comes to egg care. We collect eggs at least once a day and clean the eggs by brushing them off. Once in a while a hen will move her laying place. Free range hens don't always lay in the nesting boxes we provide. When she moves the place, it might take us a few days to find it. However, the eggs are never more than a few days old once collected. Hens like to lay in dry, dark, comfy spots, so the eggs are well kept as they wait for us to come fetch them.

Did you know that eggs don't really need refrigeration? In our climate, even in the summer, refrigeration isn't entirely necessary. In other countries eggs are not refrigerated (for instance, Britain). However, whether we refrigerate eggs for our own use depends upon what we are doing with them. If they are meant to be stored longer than a week or so, we do refrigerate them. Otherwise, we don't bother.

We don't wash our eggs in water upon collection. We just brush them off. This means sometimes the eggs have some dirt on them. The reason we don't wash the eggs is pretty simple. Eggs are laid with a one way barrier which stops material going into the egg (through the egg shell) but allows the contents of the egg to breath. Washing removes this barrier. Commercial eggs have a sealant, usually a food grade oil of some kind, put onto the egg after it is mechanically washed. We aren't interested in this step. Our eggs are at least 2 or 3 weeks fresher than the freshest one can get at the grocery store. We expect to eat our eggs within a week or two and don't store them for long. We do wash the egg right before eating, if the egg shell has any residual dirt on it.

Did you know you can use egg shells for calcium supplements for plants? We do this from time to time. Just bury the broken up shells at the roots of the plant. You can compost the shells. Dogs (and chickens) also like to eat the shells.

Chicken and Egg Information

Mother Earth News has sponsored a study on free range versus confinement (or grocery store 'free range') eggs. Not surprising to us, the real free range eggs are greatly superior. Here's another link to the article in pdf format.

Interesting facts about chickens and eggs from the backyard chicken site.

You Knew There Had to be Pics of Eggs!