There's something special about collecting your own fresh farm eggs each morning! Pardon the pun, but you just can't beat healthy, tasty, fresh eggs! They truly are the best!
The enjoyment of gathering the eggs each morning is just one of the many benefits of raising backyard chickens. It's also very satisfying to eat, preserve, share, or sell the eggs from your own sweet flock of chickens.
I love to go out in the morning to visit my little ladies in the hen house. They greet me with happy chicken sounds and soft murmurs of,"Burrrrk, bu-burrrk, ...burrrrk". Sometimes I hear a jubilant, "Buk-gawk! Buck-buck buk-gawk!!" from a proud hen singing her egg song, announcing what she's just accomplished.
Whether you gather them from your urban chickens' nest boxes, or from your country hen house, these nutritious, delicious eggs are a real blessing! You know that your chickens are fed well and properly cared for. You also know the freshness of your eggs. One of the biggest perk to raising your own chickens is cracking open a fresh egg over a hot, buttered frying pan first thing in the morning.
Besides the personal enjoyment that you experience by keeping your own chickens and collecting their eggs, it's wonderful to know that you aren’t contributing to commercial factory farming by raising backyard chickens. The poor chickens in the mega farming facilities are subject to incredibly poor and cruel living conditions. You can rest easy knowing the eggs you’re eating are very fresh and come from healthy, happy hens!
Gathering the eggs... Some are larger, others a bit smaller, some speckled, brown, white, and other colors, all placed together into the same basket. And in this case, it's a good thing, unless, of course, you drop your basket! It's a lovely collection...
Time to leave the company of our gift-bestowing hens for now. We'll probably be out a time or two as the day progresses since our little Barred Rock gal, Henny, prefers laying her eggs in the afternoon.
Taking the bounty into the house, we're grateful for another collection of fresh farm eggs. But perhaps some questions may arise...
Now what to do with your basket of eggs? Most are lovely and clean, but what about the one with a little 'messy mark' that was included on the gift? Should the eggs be washed immediately or not? Is it okay if you leave them on the counter for a while? Or should they be refrigerated right away? How soon should the eggs be eaten?
Believe it or not, there is more to washing a fresh farm egg than you might think! And whether or not you refrigerate the eggs right away depends on if you've washed the eggs or not.
Fresh farm eggs that have not been washed are coated with a protective layer on them called a 'bloom'. This is also sometimes known as a cuticle, or cuticula.
This amazing natural covering on the freshly laid eggshell is a sealant that prevents bacteria from invading the dry, porous shell of the egg. With about 80,000 microscopic pores on the surface of one egg, the Creator's design provides a necessary, multi-purpose protection. For more interesting info about the egg's bloom, hop on over to the Chicken Whisperer's Magazine.
Normally, things don't stick to eggs, but in this photo, a downy feather had touched the egg while the bloom was still moist, and it stuck here.
It quickly dries after the egg is laid, and the bloom protects the egg, reducing loss of moisture, and enabling the egg to remain fresh a lot longer. Unlike store-bought eggs, freshly-laid unwashed eggs can be left out at room temperature for at least a month or more before storing them in the refrigerator.
When the egg is washed the egg-sealing bloom is removed. The removal of this barrier creates a sort of a vacuum, pulling unwanted bacteria inside even faster. This makes the egg more vulnerable to contamination and spoilage.
So, we suggest that if any shavings, straw, or feathers have gotten stuck, you simply brush them off. Any eggs that are truly dirty can be washed and refrigerated for use within a few days.
And an additional note: The bloom should never be washed off any eggs that you're planning to incubate for hatching or preserve with water glassing. Keeping the natural protection on these eggs is very important.
When nest boxes are maintained and kept clean, the eggs will usually come out spotless, eliminating the need for washing after they've been collected.
Fresh Eggs Superior
Eggs are among the healthiest foods we can eat, packed with important nutrients.
You can go down to the store and easily pick yourself up a dozen of eggs. But ask any chicken keeper and they'll tell you that they firmly believe their eggs are not the same as the supermarket variety! Those who raise their own backyard chickens will tell you the eggs are fresher, richer, tastier, and healthier than store-bought eggs.
So is there really a difference between fresh farm eggs and store bought ones? Let's crack this mystery!
Yes! To be blunt, they're different in just about every way! Store bought-eggs are easily at least two months old by the time you buy them. As time passes, the egg's nutritional value diminishes.
Backyard chickens are fed and cared for differently as you can see in this image by Dr. Axe. There's backing behind those who raise backyard chickens and believe that better food and better care of their happy, healthy chickens lead to better taste and nutrition in the eggs. You can rest assured knowing what they’re eating and what’s going into the eggs they lay.
The yolks of fresh farm eggs are visibly a deeper color, and they're creamier and less prone to breaking as easily when cooked.
Eggs, and more so, fresh farm eggs, are a wonderful source of important nutrients. It has been said that eggs are the healthiest food on the planet! Because of their rich nutritional value, they have been referred to as nature's multi-vitamin. All of this comes to us compacted in a 70-calorie large egg.
Fresh farm eggs contain proteins, vitamins, minerals, necessary fats, unique antioxidants, and powerful brain nutrients that many people lack. They can be effective in weight management, muscle strengthening, eye health, brain function, and more.
There are so many valuable reasons that we need, if at all possible, to include fresh farm eggs in our diet regularly. The unique nutritional composition of eggs supports a variety of nutritional needs of people of all ages, children through older adults.
If you're raising backyard chickens, now what to do with all the nutritional goodness?
Yikes, that's quite a visual, but hopefully you know what I mean! The question is, what to do with all these wonderful eggs? Because eggs are really versatile, you can use them in so many ways! Bottom line is, there's no need to scramble when it comes to finding out creative ways to deal with your surplus of fresh farm eggs. We're here to help you with that...
Enjoy them plain, fried, scrambled, or poached. Or fancy them up as omelettes, quiches, souffles, or breakfast casseroles to feed a crowd! Any way you serve them up, eggs are yummy!
Homemade baked goods taste better and richer with fresh farm eggs! The list of goodies that you can bake with your eggs is endless!
And you can make other homemade edibles with them as well, like mayonnaise, Hollandaise sauce, fresh pasta, custards or eggnog!
There are also several cool ways to preserve fresh farm eggs!
Have you tried water glassing, freezing, pickling and fermenting eggs? We'll be talking about some of these methods of preserving eggs on another page soon.
Did you know that your dogs and cats will gain a lot from the nutrition in an egg?!
And of course, you can sell them to help pay for the chicken feed! Or, you can have the joy of simply blessing others by giving them away!
As you can see, fresh farm eggs are treasures indeed! And whoever is blessed to be able to gather them every morning has much to be grateful for!