Preserving Extra Eggs

photo(84)My birds laid these all today.  Not really.  But sometimes, it feels like it.

We have nine laying hens and one really busy rooster.  We also have five lovely runner ducks and two pretty busy runner drakes.  This nets us, on a beautiful spring day when everyone is feeling all full of life and frisky, over a dozen fresh eggs.  We eat a lot – for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, baked into chocolate chip cookies and angel food cakes.  Some break when they roll off the counter, or crack because the girls were fighting to get in the laying bucket they all like.  One or two occasionally get laid in a compost barrel.

And yet, they pile up.  I have plans to start an egg delivery service later in the summer, once our other laying hens start up, and I’ve seriously considered popping a sign out by the mail box advertising 12 beautiful, fresh eggs for a great price, but I just can’t commit to that yet.  I still have strong memories of weeks and weeks and weeks of NO eggs and a lot of hungry clucking mouths in the hen house.  I’m just not ready to sell myself out of breakfast.

That’s where this little post comes in.

photo(86) photo(87)Ducks lay eggs and then roll them in the mud.  This, in turn, gets the chicken eggs filthy, too.  Awesome.

A few weeks back, I made the decision to pickle over 5 dozen eggs.  It’s as awesome as it sounds.  I’m not quite ready to put the recipes I used up because I haven’t actually tasted them yet.  Like any good pickle, they need to hang out and get happy for awhile.  No one ever loved a bread and butter pickle they made five minutes ago.

photo(85)Today, the pile of eggs was mocking me again and I knew it was time to get things under control.  Remembering how it felt to live through those days of egg shortages – no baking, no quiches – I decided to preserve them in a more flexible format.  I read up on freezing eggs and set to work.

All that was needed were a couple of bowls, a fork, and freezer bags.  Ice trays would work very well in place of freezer bags, but I can’t find mine.  I labeled each bag with the total number of eggs, the type and the date.  If you’re using ice cube trays to freeze your eggs, mark a note that two cubes will equal approximately one egg.

I checked each egg for freshness by doing a water test (checking to see if it floats) and by cracking each egg into a bowl to check for yolk quality.  If the yolk is runny, the egg is no good and needs to be tossed.  After I verified that my eggs were still in good shape, I beat two together, transferred them to a bag, pushed most of the air out, and laid it flat on a tray.  Rinse.  Repeat.  It didn’t take long at all to work through the couple dozen eggs I had put back and netted me a nice mix of duck and chicken eggs for the molting time that’s sure to come.

What do you do with extra eggs?


One response to this post.

  1. This is what I need to start doing too. We have so many laying hens but a lot are two years old. Who knows what the fall moult will bring. thanks for the post.


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