Chickens, Keeping Chickens

Variation of Blue Eggs

Laikyn Camacho asked: “Are Ameraucanas the only hens that lay blue eggs? I have two of them, and I got (two different) color blue eggs yesterday, but my girls are the same age. One of them has not been laying in months though… my other girl has been consistent with an egg every other day.”

That’s a good question Laikyn! I’m still figuring all this out myself, but here’s what I think: I bet the darker egg is from the chicken who hasn’t been laying for a while. The pigment on eggs is always darkest at the beginning of a laying season, and gradually fades as the season progresses. After the hen takes a break from laying, the pigment rebuilds in her system, and the eggs start out darker again.

That said, egg color also varies from hen to hen, even if the hens are sisters – just like our hair color varies. So it’s possible that one hen will always lay a lighter blue egg than the other.

Hope this helps!

#urbanfarm #farmtofork #fresheggs #cooptofork #chickens #eggs #coop #farmlife #prettycoop #coopdreams #coopgoals #prettyeggs #chicks

Chickens, Keeping Chickens

Did you Know?

That egg color fades as a chicken gets older? The pale blue egg is from my 3 year old Ameraucana. The bright, tiffany blue egg is from my 7 month old Ameraucana. Of course, egg color also varies with breed and individual hens. However, this is yet another reason why I MUST get new chicks each year.

P.S. Photo credit to my 15 year old son, Owen, the aspiring photographer.

It’s a gorgeous photo isn’t it? (Proud mama. 😊)

Thanks O!

#cooptofork #urbanfarm #farmtofork #fresheggs #chickens #eggs #coop #farmlife #prettycoop #coopdreams #coopgoals

Chickens, Keeping Chickens

Dating Eggs

With four kids, our eggs usually get eaten within a day. But there is nothing worse than cracking open a rotten egg which has spent too long at the bottom of the bowl! In France dates are stamped on eggs – not the date they expire, the date they are laid. “One Day Eggs” (laid yesterday) are most prized. I’ve borrowed this system, writing the date laid on the top of each egg. Sometimes I include the month, but we usually go through the eggs fast enough that I don’t need to, especially in the winter. I pack them in cartons by date, and the kids know to use the oldest eggs first. Daisy, of course, always asks for the blue Helena eggs. For a while I was adding “Laid by Beatrice” or “Laid by Olivia”, in pretty handwriting on the eggs. When we only had four chickens it was easier because they each laid a different color egg. But also, my 13 year old daughter complained that made it “too personal”, and refused to eat eggs with names on them. So we’re back to just the date. I haven’t cracked open a rotten egg yet! What do you do to sort your eggs?

Chickens, Keeping Chickens

Got Muddy Eggs?

Eggs are laid with a shiny coating, kind of like a dried layer of egg white, called “bloom”, which keeps them fresh on your counter for weeks, as long as you don’t wash them. In other parts of the world, eggs aren’t washed before they are sold, so can be safely stored at room temperature. But if the bloom gets wet, it dissolves, and no longer protects the egg.

In the US, eggs sold in stores are washed, so they need to be refrigerated. During dry Sacramento summers, our eggs are usually pretty clean. Sometimes our eggs sit on the counter for a couple days before I sort and refrigerate them. (If they don’t get cooked and eaten by the teenagers before then.) This winter, we desperately need rain, and I’m grateful it is finally here, but it also means muddy, mucky eggs. The rule in our house is always wash the eggs right before use. But I don’t love leaving so much yucky dirt on them until then.

I’ve tried wiping the dirt off with a dry cloth or paper towel, scrubbing with a dish brush, or a tooth brush. Nothing has really worked. If the eggs are too gross, I’ll wash them. But I’d like to scrub most of the dirt off without getting the eggs wet and losing the bloom.

Today I tried a stainless steel sponge scrubber, and guess what? It worked! It scrubbed away almost all of the dried mud, but it left the shiny bloom intact. The sponges sell in grocery stores or on Amazon for about $3. I finished off stubborn any spots with a short wire grill brush, also about $3.

You can see the results in the photos below – shiny eggs with no more muck.