Egg Experiment
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We gather a lot of eggs during the season, end of March through the end of October, and although it takes time it is enjoyable at the same time.  My favorite part has been seeing our son Ralph learn how to gently take an egg from the nest box and place it in the basket.  At first there were many broken eggs, but after we showed him again and again, the right way, he got the hang of it and is now an egg gathering pro.  🙂

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Most of the eggs we find are in the egg mobiles, that’s where the chickens are suppose to be, but we have a few rogue chickens that hang out either with the turkeys or at a shed.  The other day we found a couple nests of eggs and I decided to test them to see approximately how old they were.  All you need is a container and cold water.  I used this image for a gauge.

This is the freshest egg, laid the same day as the picture was taken.

This one was found by the turkeys, Grady usually sees the eggs around there regularly and from the chart this egg is only a few days old.

This one was found by the turkeys, Grady usually sees the eggs around there regularly and from the chart this egg is only a few days old.

 

This one was found in our tractor shed, looks like it is over a week old.

This one was found in our tractor shed, looks like it is over a week old.

It was so fun to see the difference in the eggs and now that I know what to look for I’ll probably test others when we find them…it’s always good to know before you crack one open if it’s going to be rotten.  Hope you enjoyed and that you test some yourself when you get the chance.  🙂

Do you have any egg stories?

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About Erin Phelan

Born and raised in western Michigan, Erin came to Polyface first as an intern in the summer of 2009. While here she met and got to know Grady Phelan, an apprentice at the time. The next spring they were married and after a couple years in Oklahoma they are back, working as sub-contractors for Polyface. Erin keeps herself busy with the jobs of a wife and mother, as well as helping with the animals, gardening, sewing, cooking, baking, knitting and reading.
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16 Responses to Egg Experiment

  1. Perfect timing for this post! Our Barred Rock hens that we got this spring as chicks are due to start laying in the next week or two and since they free range I’m sure I’ll find eggs out and about. My plan is… after I find that first egg laying around then I’m going to keep the hens in the chicken tractor for a few days so they get the idea of where they are supposed to lay eggs. Of course we all know that chickens have a mind of their own. I have six Rhode Island Red hens and nesting boxes for them… 5 use the nesting box and one insists on laying her egg behind a bunch of bikes, tillers and ladders in the barn. Every Single Time! You should see the circus act I have to perform to get it. 😉

  2. Annie says:

    It’s good to know others have rogue hens! We had one that we couldn’t catch and she hatched 7 chicks in the corner of the grainary.

    • Erin Phelan says:

      We had one do that in Oklahoma, we were surprised one morning with chicks running around that we hadn’t ordered! 🙂

  3. Leilani says:

    I love the pictures of Ralph helping. You are giving him such a grounded normal life. We too have rogue chickens, I usually just give “found” eggs to the pig but will start checking them for house use too 🙂

  4. Brad says:

    Awesome Post Erin. I sometimes think the ‘simple posts are often the most inspiring’!

  5. Angela says:

    We found an egg the other day that had 2 layers of shell!!!

  6. You’re just showing off with the antique canning jar there…lol.

    That technique sure beats candling brown eggs.

  7. He is so adorable! I love that you are teaching him to be helpful and about the value of work as a little guy. 🙂 If I had some chickens, I’d love to check my eggs! (ALthough we do buy eggs from a free-ranging house, so I guess I can check how old the eggs are that I’m buying! Does refrigeration change it any?)

  8. Pingback: Egg Age | Two E's

  9. Charles says:

    Awesome post! I guess the air bubble expanding tilts the egg. Took me a while to chew on the pictures to know what I was looking at lol. As i was chewing on this post i went out to put some hay in the nest boxes. I keep the hay in an old wheel barrow. When i got out there i found seven eggs in top of the broken up bale. Crazy how things work out.

  10. Jason says:

    Great chart! Last summer one of my sons found a nest with a few eggs in the loft and could not reach it. I climbed up and reached in to find four or five eggs on top supported by about 20 more. (I thought the girls were cheating me) Well to test a theory I took two of the ones on the bottom and made MYSELF a cheese omlette. They cracked and smelled ok and I am alive today!