Friday, January 28, 2011

Damn you chickens!

They have outsmarted me.

I used to get like 10 eggs a day, but a couple weeks ago that dropped off a bit, then lately I've been getting 5-6 eggs a day. Even with the dog and cats helping, that's a LOT OF EGGS, so I wasn't too heartbroken, just a little puzzled in the back of my mind. Then my friend Jen mentioned how she was moving hay around and found a cache of 2 dozen eggs in between some bales, and I sort of started wondering...

I found the eggs today.


This is possibly the worst picture I've ever taken. I turned the flash on, stuck my arm underneath the chicken coop, and barely got a picture of the huge pile of eggs they've stashed under there. I am going to have to go out during the day and rip off a couple of boards from the base of the stupid coop and dig out all those eggs.

I will just crack them one at a time in the yard, and the ones that don't reek will get scrambled up for Cersei. I don't think this has been going on long enough for the eggs to go off - eggs are amazingly resilient, and it's only been a bit warmer during the day than a sucky fridge. I mean, I don't even refrigerate eggs anymore - I never have eggs that are more than three days old, and they're fine on the counter for a week or more. (Ok, I never have eggs in the house that are more than three days old.)

Curses. Outsmarted by birdbrains.


  1. You can do a "float test" for freshness.

    Fresh eggs sink. Eat those.

    Less-fresh eggs sink partway. Feed those to the dog.

    Floaters : throw 'em out!

  2. Haha, Jen said the same thing. Honestly, I am going to feed all the sinking cave-eggs to the dog - I have a freakin' dozen+ in the house for me already. I'm going to bring a dozen to my neighbor on Wednesday, too!

  3. Darned chickens. Will you have to block that off now?

    Oh...and my honey has one of his biker club things in Reno in April. We will absolutely have to meet up! :-)

  4. another factoid about germany: no eggs are refrigerated in grocery stores.

    i guess they have their supply/demand down pretty well.

  5. Hi, chickens will "lay away" quite often, especially if one of the hens is "broody" so yes fence all the bits that they might get into, under and over!
    Before we sold our free range poultry business, many is the time we would wonder why all of a sudden, the eggs would be less than normal. Then we would start looking in unusual places! One time we found about 170 eggs in one place!!! Now thats waste!

  6. Sneaky chickens!! I wonder if Carolyn's have been hiding theirs from me. I used to get three a day, every day. Now I'm lucky if I find one every other day. And the one that lays the little blue eggs won't give me any.

  7. I think I will block that space off. I left it open so I could see if snakes or rats moved in, but oh well. Maybe I can find mothballs to throw under there?

    Chey, that's heartbreaking! Lotta money lost :(

    Lytha, that's weird! But a lot of what we Americans store in the fridge really doesn't NEED to be there...

  8. ok can't stop giggling at this. I know I should.. but having been a "little farm girl" once up on a time who's job was to find eggs... 'dem chixuns ain't so dumb'

  9. I guess I've always known that chickens are sneaky creatures. I knew if the eggs weren't what they were supposed to be, then they were someplace they were hidden somewhere.

    The place I was with chickens never refrigerated their eggs. They were stacked up on those commercial size flats and put in a corner on the cool back porch until people came to buy them, then packaged and gone.

    I never did see them get to the bottom of that stack. Always wondered about the eggs on the bottom but then the sorting and stuff was always done at the crack of dawn before I was up.

  10. This post made me laugh. You have highly entertaining chickens!

  11. you COULD put eggs out for Ravens!!!!!
    put them on high fence posts. make sure Ravens see you when you put them out! tell them they are from me and The Raven. : )
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

  12. interesting what you said about the fridge - i notice germans don't put their meat in the fridge as fast as we do - often it sits out all day/night, often in the cool oven. i even do this now and i would never leave meat out back home. is the meat different here? i don't know. i know that genetically tampered with crops are a big no-no here, so in that way maybe.

    i actually tried to scout out a location for a chicken coop on our yard yesterday, and came up with the answer: protecting chickens from these winters would take a mighty well insulated building, not just a shelter. that would mean a big investment in wood and insulation, and then i couldn't really find a good place for such a thing. we can't even decide where to put a woodpile, and we really need to stack wood. oh well, we'll see what happens. the idea of having 3 female chickens, listening to their clucking, is appealing to me, but i know what a mess they make, so...where do i want this mess?

    i find it interesting that what is now our bathroom used to be a goat house - attached to the house back in the 20s!!! i wanna know where they peed back then, the people, that is.


  13. Oh my gosh - THAT is hilarious! Just goes to show, animals aren't nearly as stupid as people think. :)

  14. You crack me up. Of course, we have had our share of broody chickens and eggs which may have floated more than they should...

  15. ha, i was thinking of one day getting some chickens, but it looks like it will take some clever planning before i do! and that's interesting advice about the float test - i can never tell when food is off because i have no sense of smell, so i kind of just wing it, sometimes with unpleasant consequences :-\

  16. Thanks, yall :)

    Merri, the next time I notice the Ravens out, I will donate them an egg. They sort of remind me of flying cats - they seem very smug about their territory, and they watch everything. Good idea!

    lytha, I am a big cooking nerd. Meat only "goes bad" on its own very slowly, and the first part of that decay process is really beneficial. Beef is always aged to tenderize and improve taste, and even fowl can be hung even though it rarely happens. Pork and fish are the only things that gets eaten or preserved immediately. The only reason to refrigerate your meat is to prevent the growth of food-poisoning bacteria on the surface - most American chicken, for example, has some e. coli on the surface. If you let the bacteria reproduce quickly at room temp, they can produce toxins that aren't killed by cooking - the bacteria die, but the toxins that make you sick do not die. I suspect the meat in Germany is just cleaner.

    I wouldn't hesitate to eat high-quality unrefrigerated beef or lamb roasts, or maybe even chicken if I knew its life cycle. Do Germans eat ground beef? Do they refrigerate that? Ground meat is potentially contaminated all through it, yuck!

    Chickens need very little shelter. Their feathers are amazing insulators - they mainly need a windbreak, not a heat source. And too much windbreak - like a tightly sealed up house - can lead to problems too with them breathing the ammonia from their manure. But in your climate, with as much snow as you get, I'd want to give them a pretty big house - so they could hang out in it for days on end when it's snowy.

    If I had to pick where all my outbuildings go, I'd still be dithering about it. Sometimes I don't like the layout of this place very much, but at least it's laid out and I'm not still trying to figure out the optimal places for stuff!!

  17. Wow! :-) I had to deal with some while house-sitting for a friend- they were a rather malevolent crew that would line up at the door to the coop and give me hate stares as I was trying to balance the feed while opening the door and making sure none escaped. :-)

  18. Guess what!

    You won one of the SHOT Show prizes! Shoot me an email with your address so I can get the package out in the mail.


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