The Farm Report: We Got Eggs

      90 Comments on The Farm Report: We Got Eggs

The garden hasn’t been very productive for the past month or so.  The heat wave and lack of rain managed to stop even our weeds from growing.  We did pull our first pumpkin from the garden, and as you can see, it’s a doozy.

We’re also still getting tomatoes.  More pumpkins and some sweet potatoes should be making an appearance in the fall.

The big news is that we’ve become suddenly and unexpectedly loaded with eggs.  When Chareva first bought our chickens, she was told they wouldn’t lay eggs until September or October.  Saturday she called to me from the hen-house (I was working on my disc golf game across the pasture) and said she’d found a bunch of eggs.

The girls were totally jazzed by the news and have been running out to the hen-house every hour or so to check.  Now and then they come back with another egg.  It’s been three days since the hens started laying, and we’ve collected 20 eggs so far.

We have brown eggs, blue eggs and gray eggs.  As you can see from the picture below, Sara decided we needed to separate the eggs by color.  I have no idea why she considers this important.  The girls have had at least one mini-debate on whether a particular egg was blue or gray, and perhaps others I didn’t witness.

So far the eggs have all been small, although I expect we’ll be plucking bigger ones from the hen-house soon enough.  Sunday morning we decided to stop admiring them and actually fry some up for a meal.  Chareva wanted to demonstrate the contrast between farm eggs and grocery-store eggs, so she added one grocery-store egg to the pan.  I’m pretty sure you can pick it out in the picture below just by comparing the color of the yolks.

If the chickens continue being this productive, I may be having fried eggs for breakfast and omelets for dinner for the foreseeable future.  Not that I’d complain, mind you … they taste fantastic, especially when they’re fried in Kerry Gold butter.   There’s also some psychological satisfaction in eating them.  Our chickens, our work, our eggs.

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90 thoughts on “The Farm Report: We Got Eggs

  1. Amy Dungan

    That’s fantastic! I so wish we had a place for chickens, but I kinda doubt that’d go over well in our current area, even if our yard was big enough. I can dream though….

    It would require some understanding neighbors if they’re close by.

    Reply
  2. deMuralist

    oo, I don’t farm so I have no food to trade, but I am a whiz of a crafter, we might be able to trade something if you get too many eggs! congrats on the success of the farm, I know it is a lot of hard work and it is nice to see it is paying off for you.

    Reply
  3. Elenor

    Y’all have a sous vide machine? I have been meaning to try eggs in it since the Eades first came out with the Sous Vide Supreme. (I have the Demi now, the smaller one. I called it a ‘baby’ sous vide’ when I got it (and it’s BLUE!), and Dr Mike gently corrected me that it was … well … an adolescent, only 17% smaller that the Supreme. Seems much smaller.)

    Still haven’t gotten around to trying eggs in it. (I keep putting steaks in it! Never think of the eggs…)

    Never bought one of those.

    Reply
  4. Suzie_B

    Do you feed the chickens your kitchen scraps (veggie and fruit stuff)? They love nearly everything, especially melons. Crumble up your egg shells – good source of calcium to make more eggshells with – or you can buy them some oyster shell if their eggshells start getting thin. I don’t have chickens anymore – I’m so jealous!

    Yes, Chareva tosses scraps in there now and then.

    Reply
  5. Amy Dungan

    That’s fantastic! I so wish we had a place for chickens, but I kinda doubt that’d go over well in our current area, even if our yard was big enough. I can dream though….

    It would require some understanding neighbors if they’re close by.

    Reply
  6. Elenor

    Y’all have a sous vide machine? I have been meaning to try eggs in it since the Eades first came out with the Sous Vide Supreme. (I have the Demi now, the smaller one. I called it a ‘baby’ sous vide’ when I got it (and it’s BLUE!), and Dr Mike gently corrected me that it was … well … an adolescent, only 17% smaller that the Supreme. Seems much smaller.)

    Still haven’t gotten around to trying eggs in it. (I keep putting steaks in it! Never think of the eggs…)

    Never bought one of those.

    Reply
  7. Suzie_B

    Do you feed the chickens your kitchen scraps (veggie and fruit stuff)? They love nearly everything, especially melons. Crumble up your egg shells – good source of calcium to make more eggshells with – or you can buy them some oyster shell if their eggshells start getting thin. I don’t have chickens anymore – I’m so jealous!

    Yes, Chareva tosses scraps in there now and then.

    Reply
  8. Lobstah

    One of our friends has 5 hens, keeps them in a small portable coop in the backyard. No roosters, so very little noise unless a fox comes around.
    We get a dozen or two of the fresh eggs every week, nothing like them.
    Fry them up with some Nueske’s slab bacon, and you’ve got a winner.
    I also make “duck ham”, a recipe using duck breasts that’s cured like ham and hot-smoked in my weber grill.
    Fying a few slices of that, and then frying the eggs in the rendered duck fat?
    Unbelievable.

    Jim

    If only we had some duck fat.

    Reply
  9. Reeda

    There is nothing like farm-fresh eggs! Eggs from the grocery store don’t even come close. It’s like the difference between fresh spinach and canned spinach. You know, I’m grateful for canned and frozen produce and the less-than-lovely produce in the grocery stores in the winter months, but the really fresh veggies during the summer are so wonderful. I’m off to the farmers market!

    I’ve noticed that with both the eggs and the tomatoes. The difference in flavor is amazing.

    Reply
  10. Scott Merritt

    Congratulations. You should start seeing full size eggs in about 3-4 weeks. I remember how excited Kim was when we started getting baby eggs from our first set of baby chicks. I don’t remember if Chareva said you had any roosters but incubators (at least the small ones) are only about $60 and it’s really nifty to watch baby birdies hatch. And it’s a lot cheaper to get your replacement birds.

    We don’t have a rooster, but we’re considering it. We’d like the flock to be self-replicating.

    Reply
  11. Lobstah

    One of our friends has 5 hens, keeps them in a small portable coop in the backyard. No roosters, so very little noise unless a fox comes around.
    We get a dozen or two of the fresh eggs every week, nothing like them.
    Fry them up with some Nueske’s slab bacon, and you’ve got a winner.
    I also make “duck ham”, a recipe using duck breasts that’s cured like ham and hot-smoked in my weber grill.
    Fying a few slices of that, and then frying the eggs in the rendered duck fat?
    Unbelievable.

    Jim

    If only we had some duck fat.

    Reply
  12. Reeda

    There is nothing like farm-fresh eggs! Eggs from the grocery store don’t even come close. It’s like the difference between fresh spinach and canned spinach. You know, I’m grateful for canned and frozen produce and the less-than-lovely produce in the grocery stores in the winter months, but the really fresh veggies during the summer are so wonderful. I’m off to the farmers market!

    I’ve noticed that with both the eggs and the tomatoes. The difference in flavor is amazing.

    Reply
  13. Scott Merritt

    Congratulations. You should start seeing full size eggs in about 3-4 weeks. I remember how excited Kim was when we started getting baby eggs from our first set of baby chicks. I don’t remember if Chareva said you had any roosters but incubators (at least the small ones) are only about $60 and it’s really nifty to watch baby birdies hatch. And it’s a lot cheaper to get your replacement birds.

    We don’t have a rooster, but we’re considering it. We’d like the flock to be self-replicating.

    Reply
  14. Jenna

    Egg shell color is actually linked to the color of the ear of the chicken. That is why commercial egg producers love the white hens, they get white eggs. Chickens with brown ears lay brown eggs, chickens with grey/blue ears lay gray/blue eggs. At least, that is what I was taught! My friend has brown chickens so I mostly get brown eggs, but her mom has the gray chickens, so sometimes I end up with extras from her. I can always tell when she has been home, because I have blue and brown eggs instead of all brown!

    It’s only because my knee is killing me that I don’t run down to the hen-house now to check the color of their ears.

    Reply
  15. Jenna

    Egg shell color is actually linked to the color of the ear of the chicken. That is why commercial egg producers love the white hens, they get white eggs. Chickens with brown ears lay brown eggs, chickens with grey/blue ears lay gray/blue eggs. At least, that is what I was taught! My friend has brown chickens so I mostly get brown eggs, but her mom has the gray chickens, so sometimes I end up with extras from her. I can always tell when she has been home, because I have blue and brown eggs instead of all brown!

    It’s only because my knee is killing me that I don’t run down to the hen-house now to check the color of their ears.

    Reply
  16. Marilyn

    Jenna, not all white chickens lay white eggs. Mom’s White Rock hens always laid brownish eggs. Not that it matters. All those farm eggs are delish! 🙂

    Reply
  17. K

    But don’t chickens only lay for like…a year or 2 and then you have to kill and eat them?

    That’s why we’re thinking of getting a rooster and letting the flock reproduce.

    Reply
  18. Marilyn

    @ Tom: “I’ve noticed that with both the eggs and the tomatoes. The difference in flavor is amazing.”

    Wait until you eat some of those chickens. From that day on, you’ll consider all grocery store chicken to be fit only for your dogs. 🙂

    We bought a free-range chicken from a local farmer awhile back. It was small, of course — no hormones — but the first bite reminded why I loved chicken as a kid. As an adult, I’ve found chicken to be a bland food. I assumed my tastebuds had changed. Nope. The chicken changed.

    Reply
  19. Marilyn

    Jenna, not all white chickens lay white eggs. Mom’s White Rock hens always laid brownish eggs. Not that it matters. All those farm eggs are delish! 🙂

    Reply
  20. K

    But don’t chickens only lay for like…a year or 2 and then you have to kill and eat them?

    That’s why we’re thinking of getting a rooster and letting the flock reproduce.

    Reply
  21. Marilyn

    @ Tom: “I’ve noticed that with both the eggs and the tomatoes. The difference in flavor is amazing.”

    Wait until you eat some of those chickens. From that day on, you’ll consider all grocery store chicken to be fit only for your dogs. 🙂

    We bought a free-range chicken from a local farmer awhile back. It was small, of course — no hormones — but the first bite reminded why I loved chicken as a kid. As an adult, I’ve found chicken to be a bland food. I assumed my tastebuds had changed. Nope. The chicken changed.

    Reply
  22. Dave M

    Tom, my wife got me onto your movie a while back and I’ve recently started reading this blog. It sounds like you’re living my dream. I’d love to have a few acres to grow everything my heart desired and have a few animals. I have to make do with my garden on my 3/4 acre suburban lot. I used to have chickens though, and you’re right, the difference between fresh and store bought is amazing. Same with anything out of the garden, really. Be prepared for those chickens to slow or stop producing altogether in the winter unless you give them some supplemental light source to lengthen daylight hours.

    For the past few years I’ve gone to a local farmer and helped butcher pigs in the winter. For providing labor I get a great price on the freshest pork you’d ever buy, and you can get the exact cuts you want because you’re cutting it yourself. The bacon, sausage and pork chops are amazing this way. You should look into something like that around your area. Or maybe you already have and I missed it since I’m new here.

    I look forward to reading more about your garden exploits.

    There are farmers in this area who raise pigs on natural diets. We just haven’t made arrangements with them yet. We plan to get a big ol’ freezer so we can buy pasture-raised meats in bulk. Eventually we may raise a few sheep and a pig or two as well.

    Reply
  23. Dave M

    Tom, my wife got me onto your movie a while back and I’ve recently started reading this blog. It sounds like you’re living my dream. I’d love to have a few acres to grow everything my heart desired and have a few animals. I have to make do with my garden on my 3/4 acre suburban lot. I used to have chickens though, and you’re right, the difference between fresh and store bought is amazing. Same with anything out of the garden, really. Be prepared for those chickens to slow or stop producing altogether in the winter unless you give them some supplemental light source to lengthen daylight hours.

    For the past few years I’ve gone to a local farmer and helped butcher pigs in the winter. For providing labor I get a great price on the freshest pork you’d ever buy, and you can get the exact cuts you want because you’re cutting it yourself. The bacon, sausage and pork chops are amazing this way. You should look into something like that around your area. Or maybe you already have and I missed it since I’m new here.

    I look forward to reading more about your garden exploits.

    There are farmers in this area who raise pigs on natural diets. We just haven’t made arrangements with them yet. We plan to get a big ol’ freezer so we can buy pasture-raised meats in bulk. Eventually we may raise a few sheep and a pig or two as well.

    Reply
  24. Ailu

    I agree a rooster definitely completes the farm. But on another note… please, take mercy upon us ones who live in areas where (even in the mountains) possessing “poultry” is banned within the town limits. Fortunately for us, we have a merciful neighbor, who lives less than 1/2 a mile from us, but is outside of the town border. She provides us with bug-eatin’ chicken eggs for $3.00 a dozen, and we are thrilled to have them. She is our Egg Lady, and God bless her! 🙂

    If we have extras, I’m sure we’ll find willing takers.

    Reply
  25. Ailu

    I agree a rooster definitely completes the farm. But on another note… please, take mercy upon us ones who live in areas where (even in the mountains) possessing “poultry” is banned within the town limits. Fortunately for us, we have a merciful neighbor, who lives less than 1/2 a mile from us, but is outside of the town border. She provides us with bug-eatin’ chicken eggs for $3.00 a dozen, and we are thrilled to have them. She is our Egg Lady, and God bless her! 🙂

    If we have extras, I’m sure we’ll find willing takers.

    Reply
  26. Rae

    I’ve always wished that we had some egg laying hens. I love hollandaise and to use up the egg whites I blend them with frozen strawberries, a little lemon juice and splenda for a good tasting protein packed frozen treat. It’s like something between a sherbet and sorbet.

    I hadn’t even thought about Hollandaise sauce. That would be awesome with these yolks.

    Reply
  27. Marilyn

    If you get a “big ol’ freezer,” you won’t be limited to local meats. I live in Wisconsin and have for years bought grass fed beef from Colorado, and last year, bought some wonderful lamb from the other end of the state.

    That’s a possibility too, although all other things being equal, I’d like to buy from local farmers. There’s a farm just down the road from us that sells grass-fed beef.

    Reply
  28. Rae

    I’ve always wished that we had some egg laying hens. I love hollandaise and to use up the egg whites I blend them with frozen strawberries, a little lemon juice and splenda for a good tasting protein packed frozen treat. It’s like something between a sherbet and sorbet.

    I hadn’t even thought about Hollandaise sauce. That would be awesome with these yolks.

    Reply
  29. Marilyn

    If you get a “big ol’ freezer,” you won’t be limited to local meats. I live in Wisconsin and have for years bought grass fed beef from Colorado, and last year, bought some wonderful lamb from the other end of the state.

    That’s a possibility too, although all other things being equal, I’d like to buy from local farmers. There’s a farm just down the road from us that sells grass-fed beef.

    Reply
  30. DebbieC.

    Still catching up on blogs after being out of the country for 6 weeks … this is so cool. I’d love to have my own chickens and eggs but 1) I live in an area not zoned for chickens, and have a smallish yard, and 2) I go to Canada for weeks at a time in the summer so it would be hard to have someone watch chickens that long.

    But I do deal with a small nearby mom-and-pop farm. It’s a tough way to make a living. He still has to have a job in IT as well as the farm to make ends meet. But I love their eggs. I usually buy their smallest available as I read once somewhere that the smaller eggs and larger have basically the same size yolk and the main difference is in the amount of white – and since the yolk is the part I want that’s okay with me. They also sell chicken meat. I bought a whole chicken and roasted it one day when my son and DiL came over for dinner. We were all in awe how wonderful and flavorful the meat was!

    They had to stop processing meat chickens for a while when my farmer got laid off from his job, and I sure miss it. Supermarket chicken is not even close. But in his last email he said he’s employed again, even if only on a limited contract – but I hope it might mean more meat too. If so I’ll have to buy some for the freezer! Love those pretty blue eggs. I used to buy blue eggs from my Amish farmer back when I lived up north, just because I loved the color. 🙂

    I wouldn’t want to try to making a living at this.

    Reply
  31. DebbieC.

    Still catching up on blogs after being out of the country for 6 weeks … this is so cool. I’d love to have my own chickens and eggs but 1) I live in an area not zoned for chickens, and have a smallish yard, and 2) I go to Canada for weeks at a time in the summer so it would be hard to have someone watch chickens that long.

    But I do deal with a small nearby mom-and-pop farm. It’s a tough way to make a living. He still has to have a job in IT as well as the farm to make ends meet. But I love their eggs. I usually buy their smallest available as I read once somewhere that the smaller eggs and larger have basically the same size yolk and the main difference is in the amount of white – and since the yolk is the part I want that’s okay with me. They also sell chicken meat. I bought a whole chicken and roasted it one day when my son and DiL came over for dinner. We were all in awe how wonderful and flavorful the meat was!

    They had to stop processing meat chickens for a while when my farmer got laid off from his job, and I sure miss it. Supermarket chicken is not even close. But in his last email he said he’s employed again, even if only on a limited contract – but I hope it might mean more meat too. If so I’ll have to buy some for the freezer! Love those pretty blue eggs. I used to buy blue eggs from my Amish farmer back when I lived up north, just because I loved the color. 🙂

    I wouldn’t want to try to making a living at this.

    Reply
  32. Debby m.

    In my backyard I have a small pen and coop for 6 hens, no roosters allowed in my subdivision. I raised chickens as a child and enjoyed the eggs a lot. I have one little hen that used to lay blue egg. I went out of town for a week ( neighbor took care of birds) and the hen has not laid a blue eggs since. They are all healthy, have been wormed and all of them look well. There are a few more loose feathers than usual, but not enough to say that one is moulting Any one have an idea? I’mnot sure which hen lays the blue egg.

    Reply
  33. Debby m.

    In my backyard I have a small pen and coop for 6 hens, no roosters allowed in my subdivision. I raised chickens as a child and enjoyed the eggs a lot. I have one little hen that used to lay blue egg. I went out of town for a week ( neighbor took care of birds) and the hen has not laid a blue eggs since. They are all healthy, have been wormed and all of them look well. There are a few more loose feathers than usual, but not enough to say that one is moulting Any one have an idea? I’mnot sure which hen lays the blue egg.

    Reply

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