Friday, February 27, 2009


I think anyone with chickens likes the feeling we get from going to the coop and gathering a batch of fresh eggs. I believe for people who want to sell a few eggs on the side, presentation is everything in keeping customers. For someone that does not keep chickens, nothing will turn them off more than opening a carton and seeing feathers and manure stuck to their eggs. For example, when younger I used to try and buy the leghorns or other white egg laying chickens. I always considered the brown eggs as dirty or less desirable than the white, I was often surprised at people asking for the brown eggs. The reason for my dislike of brown eggs came from something that happened as a kid. A couple near us used to sell eggs, when we would open the carton the all brown eggs would always be covered in chicken manure, feathers and there would also be ants crawling on the eggs sometimes. I remember my mother throwing out a dozen and saying that was the last time we would get eggs there. Only now do I see the brown eggs as being the natural original egg.
Most of us will agree, if your eggs are dirty there is a problem. Keep the nests clean with fresh straw or shavings. If the hens are sleeping on or in the nests, then there is something wrong with the perches, either you don't have enough space for all your birds or they are not comfortable. Figure out what your problem is but the hens must not sleep in the nests as they will poop all night in the nest. I often read not to wash the eggs however I always do. Even though they are pretty clean, I still run them under cool tap water and just rub off any dirt. Don't use soap, don't use hot water, don't soak them and don't put them under any high pressure as you don't want anything to enter inside through the shell pores.
Now I like the brown eggs, the white eggs make me think of factory farms, void of nutrition and colour. However leghorns are great hens no mistake about that. I remember once a woman who was selling eggs that were dirty laughed and said the people will have to realize this is nature and they need to toughen up. We have to remember people are going to put the eggs in their fridge, would we want chicken manure in with our food. Last summer at my parents I was even surprised at a store bought dozen having dirt and feathers, and as a lesson to learn from, my Mom said to my Dad "I must remember not to buy that brand again." I also pick out any eggs that look a bit odd, I figure better to just keep it for myself.

This egg I kept for myself, it had a spiral on the end and a smiley face!

I also keep all Gracie's eggs, people told me they would not mind getting them but I feel they are too small and I don't want anyone to feel cheated, I would only give some away as an oddity.
Gracie's tiny eggs with regular eggs.

I am so relieved that Gracie is laying, I just hope when things turn warmer, she will think about hatching. March is here finally and I think in another four to five weeks it should be nice enough for the girls to go out!


Tracey said...

Hi, Amy talks about you so much, I thought I'd have a read.....Great blog!

Amy said...

lol, yes, it's always..."steven does this with his chickens,etc".
I am getting 3 eggs a day now and so they are filling mine and mum's fridge nicely!

Amy :)

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Tracey: Hello Amy's mum, you have a wonderful family! :) Nothing too exciting on this blog but it is a chicken blog after all!

Amy: 3 eggs a day, that is good, it will probably increase towards summer. My girls still swing in egg numbers and I guess it has to do with the weather. They jump from 5, even six one day, to only two eggs yesterday. Yes I am the 'chicken whisperer' you must listen to me. No no I'm kidding, I can make suggestion to help if you like but there is a lot of great info on line, I'm still learning new things all the time.

Amy said...

Ok Steven...heres one for you... Last time i said i had 2 eggs in one day from the one hen and we said it is possible but rare...well...i have 6 hens, 5 are possible layers but 1 just isn't today my husband went out and out of 5 possible layers we have had 7 eggs today!!?? I am shocked and excited!! There is no way we would have missed them if they were laid yesterday etc because they only lay in one of the nest boxes and they were laid in a pile this evening and none this morning??

Amy :)

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Well what ever you are doing Amy just keep it up! O_O Maybe I should be asking you the questions! Hahaha! ;D

Now I'm going to tell my girls and shame them into laying more!

John Gray said...

my favourite bit of egg collecting is when it is freezng cold....a warm egg in the hand is lovely! an organic handwarmer!!!

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

John: I just like the surprise of there being no eggs in the nest and then later...eggs! I'm a bit of a kid like that!

allaroundhorses said...

Yeah, we do not sell our small eggs either. If our eggs are dirty we just wash them off with a warm damp rag, it works quite nicely. Yeah, even to me if we bring a dirty egg in the house it irritates me, all of them need to get cleaned and put in cartons in the barn :).

So do you have a pretty big flock?

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Allaroundhorses: Welcome to my blog. Do I have a big flock, why yes I have a massive flock of seven hens and one rooster. Haha, no I don't have a farm and there would not be room for much more than I have. Even with a farm I don't think I would go over 20 or 30, it is just a hobby for me so I want to enjoy it.
You have horses, lucky you, such a beautiful animal.