Day 7 of 365
I have to start today’s post with a Ruby update. She deserves top billing today. This morning, when she took a break from her eggs, I started the clock for her. I always give her one hour and then have to go chase her down and bring her back to her eggs. But not today! This morning, after her hour break was up, I went out to see where she was. I was feeling quite tired from last night’s big night of cello. I have learned over the last few years of being a cello mom that another perk of being an empath is that I feel exhausted after my kiddo performs. I did not think I had the legs to chase a tiny, speedy chicken again this morning.
I am happy to report she was waiting for me at the door of the coop. When I opened the door, she went right to the garage. I played it cool and watched from afar. Sure enough, within a minute or so, she went to her eggs! I was so thankful she didn’t have to be reminded this morning. I brought her some treats. She rewarded me with a good peck on the hand.
Another task for the day was freezing eggs. It’s May, and our hens always lay really well in May and June. By the end of June, half of the flock is trying to go broody, and the egg laying drops off. We have a few customers who love our eggs, but I am hesitant to take on too many more, as I have found, that later in the summer, things slow down. And, of course, in fall, there is the molt. And, of course, after that comes winter. And since we do not add light in our coop, egg production really slows down. But right now, we are overrun with eggs!
Since hard times are always coming in fall and winter, a few years ago, I started the habit of freezing eggs in May and June. Then, this coming Thanksgiving, when I need like two dozen eggs to make Thanksgiving pies and rolls and the like and only have two eggs in coop, all I have to do is bring out the frozen eggs.
One year, I had to take the walk of shame at the grocery store and buy eggs. It had been years since I had eaten grocery store eggs, but our hens really slowed down one winter when we had no new hens laying to help us through the slow times. We ended up making scrambled eggs one morning out of those store-bought eggs, and I could not believe the difference! The eggs were terrible to me, and, I am not kidding, I just about cried eating them. “They taste like depression,” I said. I couldn’t finish eating them. For real, you can taste the difference between happy eggs and sad eggs–at least I think I can.
After that, I started freezing eggs.
It’s a very simple process. I have tried a few different methods I read about on the internet, but this one worked best for me. If you are overrun with eggs and do not plan to add light to your coop in the winter, now is the perfect time to freeze your eggs. They will be great for baking, quiche, and even scrambled eggs come December.
metal straw (optional)
gallon freezer bags for storage
- Spray your muffin pan with cooking spray.
- Crack an egg and scramble it in a small bowl. It’s best to scrambled it. I tried a batch without scrambling, and the yolk was just too hard and wouldn’t thaw properly after freezing.
- Pour each single egg into each individual muffin round.
- After you fill up each round, put your muffin pan into the freezer. Leave for a good half day. I always forget mine and leave them for a full day anyway.
- Remove your muffin pan and let it sit at room temperature for just about five minutes. This will allow the outside of the frozen egg to soften a bit and will make it easier to get the eggs out of the little round.
- Using a butter knife, pop out the frozen egg and place it in your freezer bag.
- After you have a dozen eggs in your gallon bag, seal it most of the way. Get out as much of the air as possible and then seal the bag. As an option, I use a metal straw and suck out any extra air, but you have to be careful not to suck up a piece of egg. This happened to me last time, and it was not pleasant.
Using Frozen Eggs
This has been the tricky part for me. Come winter, when you have to use your frozen eggs, you have to plan a bit. The eggs should be thawed in the refrigerator, but I can never plan ahead this well. Ron figured out how to use a low defrost setting on our microwave to thaw our eggs, but it’s tricky. I failed several times and accidentally cooked some eggs. I think thawing in the refrigerator is the best method.
I was told that you should use the frozen eggs within a year, and I can see this is ideal. However, we saved so many in 2020 that we were still eating them a year and half and up to two years later. They were still good! I could tell no difference between the year old and nearly two year old eggs.
I hope this can be helpful to any new chicken keepers who may read this. In your first year of keeping chickens, they will lay through the winter. In the second year, they will molt and will slow down quite a bit or even stop laying altogether in the winter. Freezing eggs now will keep you from having to eat sad eggs later.