Archive for August, 2009

Our First Jumbo Egg

August 17, 2009

A couple of days ago I found a really large egg.  It was easily the largest I have seen so far.  I did a little research and discovered that we have our first jumbo egg.  To be classed as “jumbo” an egg must weigh at least 2.5 ounces.  Our egg weighed 2.6 ounces (73.8 g.) and measured 2-11/16 inches (6.8 cm.) by 1-3/4 inches (4.4 cm.)  And it was from a hen that was not quite 6 months old!  (Most of our hens turned 6 months old on Aug. 15-16.)  It was a double-yolker to boot!  Good work little hen.

Eggs for Sale!

August 14, 2009

We are now getting full-sized eggs, still mixed in with pullet eggs as our hens are of varying ages.  We have sold our first few eggs to our food scrap subscribers and will be selling them at one or two nearby local outlets as well in the coming weeks.  And good eggs are good for you!  See http://www.incredibleegg.org/health.html for more information on egg nutrition.  Our eggs are not certified organic, but meet many of the criteria of organic eggs–organic grains only, no antibiotics, hormones or other feed additives, no beak trimming (a horrible practice!), pasture-raised, free-ranging life-style.   For some information on the difference between organic eggs and “conventional” eggs see http://ezinearticles.com/?Supermarket-Eggs-vs-Organic-Eggs-From-Free-Ranging-Chickens&id=1546825 and http://trusted.md/blog/vreni_gurd/2006/12/01/conventional_vs_organic_vs_free_range_meat_poultry_eggs_and_dairy.  An Internet search will reveal many other sources of information pointing to the superior qualities of organic methods in the production of eggs.

Chicken or Egg?

August 14, 2009

I think the chicken came first.  On top of that they do some really cute stuff.  Take look at two of our girls in the same next box… and the eggs on which they were sitting.

“Chicken Surprise”

August 14, 2009

“Chicken Surprise” is not a fancy new chicken recipe.  It is what the chickens gave us–a REAL surprise–when we last moved the coop on August 1st.   The coop move was was uneventful.  We have moved the coop several times now and have worked out most of the bugs of the move.  But looking back to where the coop had been I saw dozens and dozens of eggs that had been laid under the coop!!  We were wondering why our egg production wasn’t ramping up and now we know why.  The things one learns the hard way as novice chicken farmers.  We suspected that something strange was going on, but we had no idea how easy it was for the hens to get under the coop to do their laying!

Christianne’s daughter spent quite awhile gathering the eggs and her father, Tom, seen driving the tractor in some of our photos, opened up all the eggs and inspected each one.  Only four or so of the 128 eggs collected were bad.  Christianne cooked up many of them and fed them to the chickens.

We spent nearly 2 hours “securing” the open borders of the chicken coop.  We need to develop a better system for the next move, but we used fencing, chicken wire, boards and rocks to seal up the access to under the coop.  All of a sudden the egg production went way up!  We are now at about 50 eggs per day with more standard-sized eggs than pullet eggs.  There are about 15 hens that are behind the initial shipment of chicks we received in mid-February, so our production should peak somewhat higher over time.

We are hoping for no more “Chicken Surprise” any time soon!