We all know farm eggs have better taste and are so much healthier than store eggs!
You are collecting eggs every morning and, sometimes, it’s advisable to have another look in the afternoon, especially if some of you chickens like to eat eggs as much as you do. They are opportunists and will start to pick at whatever seems edible. Better be careful and clean up broken eggs so that you prevent this from becoming a habit. If you are raising hens, feed them ground oyster shell or a similar calcium supplement for stronger eggshells.
Interesting enough, you can tell the color of the eggs a hen will lay by looking at the color of her ear. Even though birds have ears different to humans, you can still look for a small circle on the side of her head. If you can clearly see that it’s white, then for sure it will lay white eggs. Furthermore, if it’s red, she will lay brown eggs. Although all eggs are delicious and healthy, it’s best to use the white ones for Easter, colors look better on them.
Cleaning and Storing Eggs
Avoid washing the natural coating of the egg because it protects it from bacteria. An alternative is to wipe it with a dry, rough cloth. If the egg is really dirty, you can scrub it with a vegetable brush, but remember to never use cold water when doing that. It seems that cold water shrinks the eggs inside their shell, afterwards drawing in bacteria. Moreover, after cleaning the eggs let them air-dry.
Don’t forget to store them on the fridge shelf, in dated egg cartons. You can use a pencil to write the date it was collected on each egg. Do not store eggs in the fridge for more than a month and try to usually eat them as fresh as possible.
You will need a rooster if you want chicks, and a good ratio is having 10 to 12 hens per one rooster. However, you can still decide to build an incubator and supervise the eggs until they hatch.
When a hen starts nesting that means she is ready to hatch her eggs. One of the other signs is that she will sit on the nest without letting you start collecting her eggs. If you want to discourage it, there are ways, but why would you not want to get free chicks?
Farm chickens can live 4 to 7 years and lay eggs for almost all that period of time. However, every year they will stop laying eggs for a short while, especially over the winter, because days are shorter and daylight is what triggers egg-laying. But no worries, they will begin again as soon as spring comes!