Monday, August 24, 2009
We are fortunate enough to have a surplus of chicken eggs this summer. Our family took over the management of my father's egg laying hens this summer. We have been camping in his woods Thursday-Sunday this summer in our alter-ego existence as country dwellers. We have two groups or chickens: 8 leghorns and around 2 dozen assorted banties. We house them in two chicken tractors, which get moved across the field daily or twice daily as forage conditions allow. The tractors were an experiment after reading Joe Salatin's 'Pastured Poultry Profits'. A way to improve the soil and keep the hens safe from neighborhood dogs, foxes, coyotes, hawks, wolves and the list goes on! It has been very cool to see the square patches of lush grass spring up where the pens had previously sat.
All these eggs! We have been selling them to co-workers-just enough to cover feed costs. My father gets all he can use and I have started freezing the extras!
It's not difficult at all. I have been freezing in baggies of 6ct, and also in smaller 2 egg breakfast portions. I also plan to freeze some in ice cube trays to give me individual eggs.
Thanks Gina for the mention of freezing eggs! This is such a baby step in becoming self reliant. Now we need to figure out how to feed these guys with out going to the feed store every month! We have been supplementing their diet with garden extras and I even planted a row of mangles with the idea of supplementing the diet with rootstock. But the real answer will be growing (and harvesting and storing) grain. We have a scythe and a whole field of peas and oats, and also some buckwheat. Perhaps we will play with the harvesting part in the upcoming weeks.