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Eggcetera….

August 6, 2010

I thought I knew eggs. That was before this week. After getting a week of chicken-sitting under my belt, I know a bit more about them!

Did you know –

an egg has about 75 calories. A twinkie has 150 – the same as two eggs. So for breakfast you could have one twinkie or two eggs. Decisions, decisions…

most people think the yolk raises cholesterol, but an egg actually raises the good cholesterol, according to new studies. The whites are just plain fabulous for you. The perfect protein. And if you don’t want to put as many egg yolks in almost any recipe, eliminate one and throw in another white.

Chickens work hard to lay an egg, and if they’re too hot their egg production will slow down – they’re using so much energy trying to stay cool. They actually pant while they’re laying. Looks much like a woman in one of the steps of lamaze breathing! With the temperatures 100 plus here in Texas, I can relate. It’s too hot to produce much of anything lately!

I brought a handful of eggs in from the barn this week, washed them and put them in cold water. Brought them to a boil. Soon as they began boiling I turned them off and covered them. Let them sit. When I began to peel them under cool running water they were a complete mess, and this is my sure-fire way of turning out perfect boiled eggs.  I found out if eggs are too fresh they won’t peel well. So don’t boil them as soon as you bring them home from the store – let them sit in your fridge awhile. And definitely don’t boil them, straight inside from the coop. But if you have a coop, you probably already know that.

Chickens will eat bugs, grubs, worms, but they also love bits of fruit, vegetables and the peelings, and anything that is heavy on carbohydrates. I gave them some leftover macaroni and cheese this week and they went crazy. Tossed them the peelings from the cantaloupe and they were in chicken heaven. They adore watermelon. Or at least they looked to me like they were adoring it.

They take dust baths to cool off.

One rooster per bunch of chickens or you’ll have a fight on your hands. Just because one rooster is bigger than another doesn’t necessarily make him the head of the henhouse either.

Different breeds of chickens lay different colors of eggs. I’ve been gathering brown, pale pink, yellow and blue all week long. Only a few looked at all white. The blue are my favorite.

If you take treats out to them daily, within a few days, if you walk in and say, “hi girls” with a bowl in your hands they will follow you anywhere!

The more you’re around them, the less scary they are.

If you have to grab one, and wear gloves, they flap their wings if possible, but they don’t reach around and peck.

Roosters crow all day long, whether the neighbors find it endearing or not. If I could only have one, it’d be a rooster, just to hear him crow in the morning.

Hens make a funny boasting noise after they lay an egg. If I’m anywhere nearby I try to tell them “good job”.

If you want to know more, go here. Even if you don’t raise them, like my grandson does, you’ll have a new appreciation for them, next time you pick up a dozen at the grocery store.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2010 8:40 am

    VERY interesting. And, being a city bred and raised girl I knew none of this. Thanks for enlightening me!!! Love the picture of your eggs!!!

    • August 6, 2010 8:54 am

      Susan, I told Don maybe we need to sign up for helpers on a ranch somewhere – imagine what we’d learn about cattle or sheep!

      • August 6, 2010 1:12 pm

        Bev, If you do please blog it. I’d especially like to learn about the sheep since that is what our Lord likens us to!!!!

      • August 6, 2010 1:16 pm

        True Susan, The pastor at our new church is Pastor Lamb, love that! I’ve always wanted a sheep as a pet – the rest of the family thinks I’m nuts, but I find them quite dear. I’d name her Ivy if I could have one. Maybe I can talk Sarah into having it here and I’ll come in for visits and sheerings. Would make for great wool to knit up!

  2. August 6, 2010 8:56 am

    I just love this lesson. And I also think those eggs are amazing. So beautiful. A work of art. The girls SHOULD be boasting in my opinion.

    • August 6, 2010 9:07 am

      I am amazed at how pretty eggs can be, and love that sometimes they still have little feathers stuck to them. Sure don’t get that in the store!

      Prayed for you guys this morning, direction, provision, and connection soon after you get there.

      Hope your weekend is blessed, Bev

  3. August 6, 2010 2:10 pm

    They are beautiful!

  4. August 6, 2010 4:24 pm

    When I was a young girl, we always had chickens. I still remember the thrill of reaching into a nest and feeling that warm egg. Plus, there were always those hens who’d lead you on a wild goose (hen?) chase, looking for the eggs they laid in out-of-the-way places. Have you ever seen a snake that’s swallowed an egg? I hate snakes, but it is kind of cool looking…in a grotesque kind of way. 😉

    I remember my daddy shining a flashlight into the eyes of a chicken at night, if he had to remove it from it’s nest for any reason. The bright light hypnotizes them into immobility. Just a little chicken lore for you.

    • August 6, 2010 8:32 pm

      Renna, the only egg I broke this week was when I reached in for an egg (which does fascinate me, being the city / grocery store girl, that they are just there, laying there waiting to be gathered) and picked up the egg, then hit something warm and gooey – when I realized what it was I yanked my hand out so fast I cracked the shell on the egg. And the flashlight tip – will keep that as it will likely come in handy eventually. We used the flashlight at night to look around the corners of the barn, where some of them were hiding from us. Caiden had shown me the weird places they lay – they are creatures of habit though, so I began to know what spots to check daily.

  5. August 6, 2010 10:46 pm

    As someone who is toying with the idea of raising a few chickens one day when I have the land (and the time), I appreciated the pointers! Loved the beautiful photo of the basket of eggs, too.

    • August 9, 2010 11:38 am

      My grandson currently has 26 – I think I might enjoy a handful. Amazingly he can go out in the barnyard and tell me every single one’s name, and breed, and what color eggs they lay! If I only had a few, I’d go for the blue egg layers – my absolute favorite!

  6. August 7, 2010 12:34 am

    Look at you, Mama! You were intimidated at first, and after a week, you’re an egg expert! Way to go!

    So, how’s it goin’ with the grasshoppers? 🙂

    Love ya,
    les

  7. August 7, 2010 5:19 pm

    What a pretty basket of eggs! Glad you continue a lifestyle of learning – it’s good for you! Hope you’ve had a great week!

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