It's time for an Egg-ucation
I often find myself explaining the mysteries of egg production and usage on a regular basis so this is a post dedicated to answering your most pressing egg questions, so let's get egg-ucated!
1. You do not need a rooster to get eggs, egg laying happens with or without a guy.2. Layers, or hens that are bred for egg-production, lay eggs regularly from about 5-6 months old up through year 2-3, at that point production of eggs slows way down. Though some hens can lay though years 4-5 but you're not going to get enough eggs for production purposes. In 2013, a chicken in England laid two eggs at 17 years old! BUT she hadn't laid an egg since 2000, so her production had pretty much stopped by four.3. Chickens like to have a quiet, darkish place to lay an egg so we provide nest boxes,which in our case is a row of 12"x12" cubbies at the back of the coop. Chickens need about 1 box for every 4-5 hens (they share).4. Chickens are omnivores. They eat meat like mice, voles, and insects as well as seeds, grass and greens (and heaven help us if they get into the garden!)5. Chickens raised on pasture or "free-range" should have access to sunshine, grass, and insects. Small farms have an easier time providing the truly diverse diet chickens prefer as omnivores and the difference is in the eggs.6. Pasture raised eggs are very different from any other form of production because the hen controls it's diet. Check out this article, one of many on the internet, about nutritional benefits of pasture raised eggs. Suffice it to say the yolk is bright orange, the white has integrity, and the taste is simply AMAZING!7. Fresh eggs are FULL of moisture so we never hard boil new eggs because they are a NIGHTMARE to peel (think shell stuck to white peeling off of yolk, frustration!). We use "old" eggs (at least a week or two or older) to hard boil.8. When you buy eggs at the store, by law the conventional egg producers have 30 days to carton and egg and then another 30 days to sell that egg after it's been cartoned. That's a long time! 9. Farm fresh eggs can be stored at room temperature and that is how most of the world does it, though the FDA recommends refrigerating them.10. Because our eggs are so fresh, you can buy a month's worth at a time and still have eggs twice as fresh as what you find at the grocery store!We will continue to update our Egg-cation as we find questions that need answering.