You've raised the chicks, now what? This post is going to provide you with the information you need when it comes to handling your chicken eggs.
If you are interested in bringing chickens into your family, check out my blog post on How To Raise Chicks: The First 6 Weeks. That post has a ton of good information on how to get started in your journey.
I have to admit to you guys, I wasn't sure if I was ever going to be able to write this post for you. Our first flock of chickens were taken by predators from our woods and I wasn't sure I was ever going to recover from that. Until my fiancé came home with 8 beautiful hens that were just a month away from laying eggs. A co-worker of his gave them to us because he no longer could care for them. I was so scared to have them at first, but we have learned from our mistakes and our girls have the best life with us. It was surely meant to be.
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Just a little disclosure, we have eight hens, no rooster as of now. They do free roam our yard and.. neighboring yards.. during the day with their coop wide open in they do need their shelter. We do plan on getting a rooster, were just still learning on how to introduce one to a flock of eight laying hens. If anyone has any pointers on that, feel free to leave that advice in the comments.
Hens will lay eggs wherever they please if they are not provided the adequate space needed to lay their eggs comfortably. I want to give you some tips on providing the best space for your girls.
Nesting boxes are extremely important as it allows your hen a clean and safe place for her to lay. Our nesting boxes are made from wooden crates we purchased off Facebook Market Place for cheap. But any form of box that they are able to comfortably lay and still feel secluded works. We also have them up off the ground as that was another factor of separation from the rest of the coop area. We line the nesting boxes with straw but any sort of animal bedding, grass shavings, newspaper would work. We used pine shavings while we were brooding the chicks but when we moved out to the coop, we used straw from a local farmers market.
Once you've provided the gals with a space to lay you must check back frequently to see when they're laying. We knew our chickens were laying because we had found an egg outside the coop. Once we saw that, we waited until dusk and put them up for the night. The next morning, we waited to let them out until midmorning, knowing for sure that everyone was finished laying. After that, they kind of just caught on and now we collect eggs every morning when I give them their breakfast.
Maybe I'm late to the party, but I had no idea about the fun facts of chicken eggs. You have two options when it comes to storing your chicken eggs. You can either dry wash them and store them on your counter or you can wet wash them right away and store them in your fridge.
Dry washing is just the process of wiping the egg of dirt or debris with a dry sponge, loofah or scrubby. At that point, you can store the eggs in a basket, bowl or container on the counter for up to two weeks. I've heard they can stay good for longer, but we've personally found at the two week mark they start to lose the fresh taste. If this is the option that you choose, you must wash the egg before cooking. For obvious reasons.
Just as it sounds, wet washing is the process of washing the egg as soon as it's collected with warm water and storing in the fridge. A couple things here, the water must be warm, not hot. Before placing in the fridge, make sure the egg is completely dry. Wet washed and refrigerated eggs last for up to a month.
DO I HAVE A BAD EGG?
The simple egg float test will tell you if you have a fresh egg or not. It's very easy. Just get a bowl big enough for your eggs to float in, once you place them in the water you'll find that they either sink or float. The ones that sink are fresh and the ones that float are old. Remember, after doing this you will have considered to wet wash your eggs and they will need to be placed in the fridge for storage at that point.
Learning how to care for these chickens has honestly been such a humbling experience. I never knew I could love a species of bird so much. I highly recommend giving them a try if you are able to. It's such a rewarding experience.
If you're a chicken owner, what's your favorite tip you could share with me?
Have I been living under a rock or have you known about the bad egg floating test?
Let me know below!
Make sure to tag any new chicken owners.