How to find an egg

Eleven young laying hens. Four fresh eggs. Three hungry farmers.

The numbers weren’t adding up.

Our hens are very free range. Sometimes we even see them wondering in our neighbor’s field. We have nice hay-filled laying boxes available, but for some reason several hens think a brush pile looks more inviting.

You can find eggs layed by a deviant hen because she clucks a proud, loud, and long song to let the world know that she layed her Egg of the Day. So, theoretically, The Egg should be easy to find. But you have to be at the right place at the right time. Mostly because when one hen starts clucking, several more join in the celebration, and you have to know who started it to be successful in an egg hunt. And also, hens can sqeeze into small inconspicous places and you may look and look and look and still not find, unless you see a hen come clucking loudly out of a very specific location. This is how I found sixteen eggs today and another sixteen yesterday.

Eggs have a protective coating that allows them to remain fresh without refrigeration. (“Modern” eggs require refrigeration because this coating is washed off, leaving the eggs defensless. )  So these eggs are likely to still be edible, but I’m going to do the float test, just to make sure.  How do you do a float test?  Put the eggs in water.  If one floats, or even stands up a little at the bottom of the bowl, it has started to go bad.  Your pig or even chicken will love it (chickens have very robust digestive systems.  They can successfully digest botulism toxin without a problem.  Also, they are natural ominvores and scavengers- for example, grubs are a standard parts of their foraging diet.)

Four eggs a day wasn’t enough the three of us and sixteen is pure abundance.  If happy mediums are only found on factory farms and the convience of a grocery store, then, I am quite satisfied with the unpredictable life of Factor E Farm.


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