Egg Head

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My old hens hardly lay much anymore.  I am lucky to get an egg a day!  Wednesday night I had the pleasure of accompanying one of my most favorite people, Teresa, to a Bocu Ball class.  This exercise class was ridiculously intense (and the instructor was apparently being easy on us because I was new!) and required me to use my whole body to TRY to balance on this evil half ball thingy from hell.  It was AWESOME!  My abs are screaming today!  That tells me that this class rocks and I should return week after week for more torture.

Okay… so what about eggs.  Bosu ball… eggs?  What’s the connection with my ol’hens?!?!  The instructor has a farm and had her fresh eggs available for purchase.  Well, my family goes through some eggs.  So I took full advantage of this opportunity.  And these eggs are just divine!  They are so full of flavor.  I wonder how many people know how to tell a fresh egg.  I think I read somewhere that, on average, grocery store eggs at least a month old by the time you get them.  So you can imagine, they really aren’t at their peak of flavor like a fresh egg that may only be a day or two old.

To test how old an egg is BEFORE you crack it, place it in a bowl of water.  If it gently floats at the bottom on its side, parallel to bottom of bowl, you have a nice fresh egg.  Maybe a day or couple old.  If the egg, floats a little crookedie (yep, I am making up words. Its my blog, I can if I want too) on its side, its probably a week old or so.  If your egg floats up and down and not on its side at all, it’s probably at least 3 weeks old.  If your egg floats to the top, THROW IT AWAY.  YUCK!  IT’S WAY OLD!

So you think you have a fresh egg, you crack it in your pan… and it looks like this

Congratulations, you have a beautifully delicious fresh egg, less than a week old.  First, see how richly gold the yolk is?  That’s what you want.  Gold is good, yellow is ehhh.  Second, look at how the yolk sits up there so proud (and gold!!), and the white is hardly running anywhere.  Fresh egg whites do not run all over your pan.  They are nice and tight and tall and gorgeous.  The taste of a fresh eggs cannot even compare to an egg from the grocery store.  Please also note that your grocery store eggs have a “pack” date and a “sell” by date or “exp” date.  You don’t really want eggs that are 30 days past their pack date.  Ick. 

The expiration date will say exp and a date. The “pack date” means what it says, the pack date. Example; January 13 would be the numbers 013 somewhere on the carton representing the 13th day of the year. February 13 would be 113, March 13 will be 213. etc. The American Egg Board recommends refrigerator storage of up to 4-5 weeks beyond the pack date. In other words up to 28-35 days beyond the pack date is recommended. For eggs marked 013, throw the eggs out after February 10-17.My Faverolle Chickens.  My GORGEOUS rooster who I regretably let go to my CSA farm as to avoid conflict with a certain neighbor. (If it should come up again, I won’t cave so easy)  And my darling, “Blondie”, who was just recently picked off by some jerk… I think it was that damn raccoon I have seen along our property line.  Good for nothing dogs obviously didn’t scare him off!!! It was apparent she was taken in the middle of the day. I guess our mean ol’Rottweiler doesn’t scare raccoons like he scares people.This breed of chicken is especially docile and friendly.  I would frequently catch the boys carrying Blondie around with them like a baby doll.

Say Hello to “TROUBLE”, one of my Easter Eggers!  This hen earned her name as a little peep, as she was the trouble maker of the brood.  She is MIA and assumed lost forever.  A couple months ago, the boys didn’t realize she wasn’t in the coop when they closed up for the night, and she hasn’t been seen since.  I love my Easter Eggers for their colorful eggs – pink, blue and green!!  

My trusty Australops… I can’t tell them apart so the boys call them all “Blackie”.  They are prolific layers, hardy and docile.  I love these birds.

One of my favorite things about my chickens, besides providing me with little eggy beauties, is that they love me.  Yep.  They follow me around the yard.  Yeah, sure, probably has to do with the fact that they associate me with food and water, but who cares.  They are my brood.

And next week, I am expanding.  My girls are getting old and the brood has been significantly thinned out due to unfortunate events, so we have 14 babies coming!!  I can’t wait!!!!

 

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