We have had our chickens now for half a year or so. They are a lot of fun and offer a great source of stress relief. Abigail in particular has found that sitting in the yard reading a book while they hens roam about is a great bit of fun. Aside from the fun part, of course, they give us eggs.
I never realized all of the oddities of fresh, home-grown chicken eggs. Many of you chicken experts probably know these things, but we have found interesting tidbits from having the birds. For instance, did you know that hard-boiled fresh eggs are dang-near impossible to peel? The protective coating on the eggs keep carbon dioxide inside. As eggs age, the coating wears off (or, with store bought eggs, is washed off) which makes the shells more porous. Carbon dioxide leaves the eggs, the pH increases quite a bit and the inner membrane separates from the shell making older eggs easier to peel. There are all sorts of alleged magical ways to make fresh eggs peelable but I haven’t seen them work yet…so we let eggs age some if we want to hard boil them.
Did you know that eggs vary A LOT in size and shape? We have seen monster eggs, nearly spherical eggs, double yolks, tiny eggs, elongated eggs. It’s always a lot of fun to see what the hens lay day-to-day. We average 4-5 eggs per day from our 5 hens…one Easter egger (or maybe both) are not 100% layers but the brown egg layers are super reliable.
The color of the yolks in fresh eggs (at least in our coop)are deeper yellow, larger and firmer than in store bought eggs. Their shells are harder to crack and feel heavier in general. There may be breed differences and there are certainly dietary differences between my birds and factory birds so who knows what really is the cause, but it is a striking difference. Some people say the fresh eggs taste a lot better. I know mine are better because my chickens are never given shots of medicated food or anything that a big chicken farm might give their birds to eat.
Mine get to stretch their wings and run around and act like chickens act…which is crazy…I never really understood the phrase, “You’re a chicken” until I watched the hens jump at a gust of wind or run from a falling leaf. So maybe it is the surges of adrenaline they get running from their shadows or maybe it’s the diet or maybe just the breed that makes their eggs different, but different they are.
I dig my chickens and am delighted to learn new stuff about both the chickens and their eggs!