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With molting season soon upon us, winter approaching, and declining hours of sunlight every day, your hens will start laying fewer eggs. To keep enjoying the nutritious eggs from your own chickens far into the winter months, you need to preserve the bounty you’re getting now.

There are many safe and effective ways to keep eggs fresh for many months or longer. The key is to do it right. Here are three easy and popular methods of preserving those extra eggs.

Baking

In addition to using excess eggs in your baked goods like quiche and then freezing them for later meals, you can actually bake the individual eggs in order to save them.

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Crack one egg into each cup of a lightly greased muffin pan.
  • Season with salt and pepper or other spices as desired.
  • Bake for 15 minutes and remove from the oven. Let cool.
  • Once cooled, remove each baked egg and place in a freezer bag or container.
  • It may help to place a small square of waxed paper between each egg before freezing.

These egg “muffins” are perfect to pull out of the freezer, thaw, and then pair with English muffins or small bagels for a quick and nutritious breakfast sandwich.

Pickling

Pickled eggs are not just something you find in a glass keg next to the beer tap. This particular method of preserving fresh chicken (and other poultry) eggs is one that has been around for centuries. The eggs should retain their freshness and taste for up to three months in the refrigerator.

Start with a dozen small-medium eggs that are from 4-12 days old as they’ll peel better than fresher ones. (If you decide to use quail eggs, you can do close to three dozen for this recipe.) While there are many recipes available for pickled eggs, this simple one using red beets to make the beautiful color is easy and popular.

  • Hard-boil and peel the eggs.
  • Place the cooked eggs into a pre-sterilized quart canning jar. Set aside.
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes:
    • 1 cup red beet juice (from the can)
    • 1 ½ cup cider vinegar
    • 1 tsp brown sugar
    • some sliced or tiny beets (from the can)
  • Pour mixture over eggs in the canning jar. Be sure there is plenty of pickling solution to completely cover the eggs, removing excess eggs if necessary. Place canning lid and ring on jar and immediately refrigerate.

These eggs make nutritious snacks, full of protein and great taste. And yes, they do go well with beer.

Water-Glassing

Water glass is another name for sodium silicate. Sodium silicate can be found at your local drug store or purchased online. It is a chemical that when mixed with water creates an airtight seal on the shell of fresh chicken eggs. There are two trains of thought on how to best use water glass – one as a medium for storing the eggs and the other as a dip or painted-on sealant. Storing them in the solution is the more popular and possibly reliable, choice.

Collect eggs that are less than three or four days old, gently clean any debris from them. Make sure there are no cracks or holes in any of the shells. Follow the sodium silicate package directions, using cool water for mixing. Partially fill a clean crock or jar of glass, crockery, wood, or enamel with the mixture.

Place the clean eggs in one at a time, ensuring that there is always at least two inches of solution over the top layer of eggs. Keep the jar covered in a cool, dark place. Eggs should maintain freshness for at least six months. Many report the eggs are still perfect after a year in the solution.

So have you used any of these egg preservation methods or others? How do you choose to keep your eggs fresh?

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Some Things To Know About Keeping Goats

We’ve talked about the pros and cons of keeping goats, but there are a few tips I can give you so you don’t have to learn some things by way of surprise. By knowing these things now, you won’t be shocked when they happen later. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you keep goats on your farm.

They Like To Have Company

I may have mentioned this before but I’ll tell you again: goats like to stay in herds so you should never keep a lone goat. Being with other goats allow them to feel safe and protected, even though there’s no real harm. Goats are fairly social animals so it can greatly affect their mental health when you decide to keep just one on the farm without any company.

They Get Distressed Easily

When you first bring them onto a farm, your goats will get distressed easily, even when you think that there’s no problem. That’s why you should make things as convenient for them as possible; place their food and water within reach and don’t keep any obstacles in the fence. Never bind them to a post because that can affect their health. Instead, stick to good fencing and let them roam free in it.

Be Careful With Billy Goats

When you see your Billy goats in a rut, you should be careful to leave them be since they’re very dangerous in such a situation. In addition, if you want to avoid a rut, you should think twice about keeping Billy goats on your farm in the first place. For breeding, you can always borrow bucks from neighboring farmers and communities when they’re needed.

Never Underestimate the Importance of Good Fencing

During the first couple of weeks, goats may appear as the most innocent creatures you’ve seen but this is far from the truth. They’re very active so they love to roam around and explore new areas. For this reason, I always tell farmers that you shouldn’t buy goats before you’ve built a proper fence that keeps them inside.

Make sure that it’s tall enough since they can easily jump over short fences and that it doesn’t have holes, goats have a strange ability to figure out how latches work. Because of this, they can open fence doors with their tongues. If you’re not sure how to set up proper fencing, don’t risk doing a DIY since goats can easily knock down weak fences. Instead, call in a professional to do it.

Your Goat Isn’t ‘Fat’

You shouldn’t cut down on your goat’s feed just because it appears to be pot-bellied. Goats are ruminants so a bigger rumen doesn’t necessarily mean they are getting fat, it could simply indicate good digestion. As long as they’re running and exercising well you shouldn’t be worried.

When you keep these things in mind, you’ll know how to react and prepare yourself for keeping goats on the farm. They are much easier to handle once you’ve experienced a couple of firsts, but I can’t guarantee that they won’t give you a hard time. Happy Farming!


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