Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bakers Dozen

Thirteen eggs. There would have been more, but I dropped one. And two were laid with thin shells and were broken (but not eaten) when I found them. One broken one was laid in the nesting box. The other on the floor of the coop. (Maybe the hen didn't know what was happening and it just came out ?)

Here are the eggs compared to a store-bought, extra large white egg and a penny. The egg right below the white egg was laid yesterday by our first layer. Her eggs are definitely increasing in size in the nearly two weeks she's been laying.

And remember the very first egg? The long and skinny one? When I cracked it open last night, the freaky thing had two and a half yolks. Two and a half! I was quite a surprise to see a yolk growing off another one. The kids enjoyed looking at it.

And see that little spot on the half yolk? I freaked out a bit, but learned that the spot is perfectly normal on fresh eggs. It's a blood spot and does not indicate the egg has been fertilized. There is a spot in all eggs, but it gets diluted as the egg gets older. Which is probably why I never noticed it in my store-bought eggs.

And the quiche that I made for dinner. Bacon-cheese cheese. Yum.

And waste not, want not. I had read that you can bake the egg shells, crush them and feed them to the chickens for a little extra calcium. (We have been giving them crushed oyster shells as well to prevent more thin shells.)

There's controversy over whether or not to feed egg shells to chickens because the chickens may develop a taste for it and crack their own. We'll see what happens. I'm not sure if chickens are smart enough to know that the stuff I feed them comes from them.

[All six kids spent the night at my mother's house last night. This morning Joe and I went on a 10-mile bike ride before he went to work. Then after he left, I went for a short run. It was my first run in nearly two weeks (knees again and always -- 35 years worth of knee problems). It was hot, humid and a little slower than I normally run that distance. (It also felt slower compared to biking because I can cover twice the distance on bike than I can by foot.) I'm not sure if it was because I didn't rest enough between the bike ride and the running or if the biking wore me out more than I expected it to or if it's been too long since I ran or if it just felt like I was moving slower because I was slower than the bike. Either way, it was good to be out.] And now I need to go pick up the kids ... It was good while it lasted.

13 comments:

Kris said...

I have to say that I love walking, but not if I have spent a lot of time on my bike. Walking is so slow! Loved your egg tales!

nikko said...

What pretty eggs! Good for you on your run and bike ride. And a morning alone... sigh... Heaven!

Jennifer said...

WOW! I'm loving the multi-egg. I was sure it was a double..but didn't plan on the extra half! NEAT!!

I have always worried about that little dot on the yolk. I'm grossed out by the fertilized ones...you can tell those! But, that little dot has always been a bit of a worry thing for me. NOW...I FINALLY HAVE AN ANSWER! Thank you!!!

Katie said...

That is so cool! You keep telling me how the eggs are different and I wanted to see them. Thanks for sharing!!!! I HAVE to bring Andy over to see the chickens!!

lisa said...

My Mom has either raised chickens or been around them all of her life, and she feeds the shells back to the hens. But I have never heard about baking them first. I don’t really think that part is necessary. I’m pretty sure she has never had a problem with the hens getting a taste for the shells and eating the eggs either. I have always heard though that some hens just aren’t good layers or mothers. Maybe that is where that would come from.

Diane said...

Love the "harvest"!

The army's got nothing on you. You do more before 9 am than most anyone does all day! Take care of those knees :)

FinnyKnits said...

That's amazing! Look at all those eggs!

They're beautiful. And, hey, if you can't feed the shells back to the chickens, they're always great in the compost.

FinnyKnits said...

And I forgot to say - good job on your run and getting out there! I hope your knees are OK :)

Stacey said...

That was the strangest thing...what an odd shaped egg. How interesting!

lisa said...

You were totally right! I asked my Mom, because I was sure someone was pulling your leg about baking the shells and she said that she does it too! And for the same reason. How in the world I fell to notice this I do not know. I guess it’s because I have seen my much older brother just feed shells. I have no idea what his results were. Sorry I doubled!

Mandy said...

Wow! Those eggs look beautiful, and the variation in shape and color is great. Leaves me wanting to raise chickens, wishing I knew how. But the egg with 2.5 yolks is a bit creepy, like there would be twin chickens and a half if only it were fertilized... eep!

jessica said...

I'd imagine if you don't feed the egg shells to the chickens terribly often, they won't become conditioned to develop a taste for them. You can compost egg shells as well, so maybe alternate between the two?

amandajean said...

good for you guys for getting some time alone without the kids. i hope you savored every minute of it. :)