Tag Archives: eggs

Old Hens… Chickens not people

Before you purchase your chick(s) look 2 years in to the future.

For some people chickens only serve two purposes, primarily a source of fresh eggs, second as a source of fresh meat.
But for some they become pets no different from the family dog. This is where looking into the future is important.

Chicken commonly live 5 to 7 years, however it is not uncommon for them to live to the ripe old age of 10 or more years.

Egg production starts at about 24 – 26 weeks of age (6 months) and will decrease sightly every year after that. By 3 years of age it is likely to the point that you will need to replace your laying hens.

What do you do with them at this point in time? Sell them? Give them to an unsuspecting friend or neighbor? Butcher them to be served for Sunday dinner?

If you have become attached to them for what ever reason butchering them is not an option. However you must decide if the pleasure you get from their presents is worth the reduced or no egg production and the daily cost of feed and maintaining a safe and secure living space.

All is not lost. Even with reduced egg production they are still good weeders and eat every insect find and can catch.

Hint: Keep Them As Broody Hens/Mothers
If you own a broody hen (or hens), consider using them to hatch a few eggs. Those old hens will be perfectly happy sitting on some eggs all day, and it would save you the cost of buying an incubator.

Happy Gardening

Right Tool for the job

Being willing to try something new using the latest improved technology, I bought one of the as seen on TV copper colored whizz bang no stick fry pan.
I carefully followed ‘all’ the instructions on how to clean and fry foods on this not so wonderful copper colored fry pan.
I even put away my trusty 25 year old steel spatula and replaced it with the recommended silicone spatula.

From day one eggs and sausage patties stuck to this pan much like they were fried using super glue on the pan. An almost new copper colored fry pan was sent to the trash bin. The lesson here is don’t buy any product advertised ‘As Seen On TV’ as one of it’s selling points.

Still in need of an 8 inch non-stick fry pan I made a trip to my local farm and ranch (farmers coop) store and for $8.97 bought a Lodge per-seasoned cast iron skillet. After washing drying and applying a thin coat of bacon fat to it’s surfaces I fried my frozen sausage patties followed by 2 over easy fried eggs. Yea, nothing was sticking to my cast iron pan.
As an added bonus this pan is perfect size for frying one real meat burger patty. I don’t eat or recommend that you eat some fake vegetable patty masquerading as meat burger patties.
Grin … without fire and protein from meats man would still be subsisting on grass seeds and grubbing in the dirt for plant roots and insect grubs.

FYI: I do like my new silicone spatula much better when turning eggs than my old steel spatula. No more broken egg yokes.

Happy Gardening and Healthy eating from your vegetable garden.

Maurice the rooster – crowing over judges verdict

French rooster cleared by court after lawsuit accused him of making too much noise.

The 4-year-old rooster’s dawn crowing exasperated its neighbors, a retired couple who moved to the small island of Oleron off of France’s Atlantic coast.

The judge not only decided to allow the 4-year-old rooster to stay with his owner, Corinne Fesseau, but also ordered the couple to pay 1,000 euros ($1,103) in damages to her for reputational harm, plus court costs.

Maurice’s case was the most high-profile. Local residents even brought a “support committee” of roosters and hens from around the region to the trial venue in Rochefort this past July. The case elicited letters of support for Maurice from countries around the world, including the U.S.

Survival tools in the 21st century

Once upon a time:
A mans survival tools consisted of a clean well oiled rifle.
Keeping your powder was a top priority.
A sharp hunting knife to dispatch food items like large and small game, wild birds of differing sizes.
You could skin a rabbit, clean fish or slice a carrot and homemade bread.

Sign of the times:
Last night I discovered that even more important to my survival than my $700.00 well oiled rifle or my $300.00 hand made hunting knife was my $1.50 can opener!

The only food I could access was 3 fresh eggs, sour pickles in a jar and a few hot chili peppers in some kind of zip top can.

The lesson learned here is Always Keep A Spare Can Opener near by.

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Backyard flock of laying hens are good for your health

Nutrition journal guidelines for egg consumption eggs make a healthy, affordable and tasty meal. Research has revealed just how many eggs is safe to eat in a week.

Grandma said “eat your breakfast biscuits with butter, jelly or jam, gravy, maybe a few slices of bacon or sausage patty’s as well in addition to your healthy 2 egg breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day.”

Good news for lovers of a frittata or scramble, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found there were no adverse effects from having as many as 12 over seven days.

They discovered that even participants with type-2 diabetes did not suffer adverse effects from eating a diet high in eggs such as inflammation, cardiometabolic risk levels or raised glucose levels.

Eggs particularly the yolk are high in fat, they are full of vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy omega-3 fats. The yolk is packed with nutrients, so there’s no need to opt for egg-whites only.
Eggs do not significantly raise cholesterol in the blood, the Mayo Clinic reports, and people who replace a grain-based breakfast with eggs have been found to eat fewer calories over the day.

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There’s A Chicken In My Coop!

barn yard chickens It’s getting to be the time of the year that many folks that bought 25 or more day old chicks in January now need to deduce their flock size. You can often pick up roosters, pullets and young laying hens at a very reasonable price now. Pullets generally start laying at about 20 – 26 weeks of age. Heavy ‘duel purpose’ birds tend to to be closer to 26 weeks old. If your looking for meat birds or a rooster for your flock start looking now. Many flocks will have far to many roosters and you can pick them up for rock bottom prices.
Don’t get carried away buying fresh off the farm meat birds. Never pay more for an old hen or a young rooster than the cost of a processed ready to cook bird cost in your supermarket.

Any of the Leghorn breeds are excellent layers and do not go broody. They lay large white eggs. Put them in an old store egg carton and the kids will never know the difference. Most other breeds lay lightly tinted to dark brown eggs. Check out McMurry’s Catalog for a ton of useful information on many different breeds, egg colors they lay and much more.

A word about eggs from the USDA.

Brown eggs are better for you than white eggs, is that true?
Does the color of the shell affect the egg’s nutrients?
No. The breed of the hen determines the color of her eggs. Nutrient levels are not significantly different in white and brown shell eggs.
Araucuna chickens in South America lay eggs that range in color from medium blue to medium green. Nutrition claims that araucuna eggs contain less cholesterol than other eggs haven’t been proven.

Answer: Shell color does not affect the quality of the egg and is not a factor in the U.S. Standards, Grades, and Weight Classes for Shell Eggs. Eggs are sorted for color and marketed as either “white” or “brown” eggs.

On average, brown eggs are bigger in size than white eggs, due to the breed of chicken laying the eggs. Brown eggs cost more to produce and is usually reflected in the cost per dozen at retail.

Are Free Range or Cage Free eggs nutritionally better than eggs from hens in a caged environment?
Answer: Free Range or Cage Free eggs denote the environment in which the laying hens were housed. Currently, USDA does not have definitive scientific data stating a nutritional difference in egg nutrition, due to hen housing.

What is the difference between Free Range and Cage Free eggs?

Answer: Free range must be produced by hens housed in a building, room, or area that allows for unlimited access to food, water, and continuous access to the outdoors during their laying cycle. The outdoor area may be fenced and/or covered with netting-like material.

Cage free must be produced by hens housed in a building, room, or enclosed area that allows for unlimited access to food, water, and provides the freedom to roam within the area during the laying cycle. Access to outdoor areas is not a requirement.

USDA Are eggs safe to eat after the Use By or Sell By date has expired?

Answer: The Use By or Sell By dates stamped on the end of an egg carton denotes the period of optimum egg quality. As eggs age, the yolk membranes and tissues weaken and/or moisture is absorbed from the albumen (white). As a result, the yolk begins to flatten and the albumen becomes watery. This is indicative of a Grade B, quality egg.

For baking purposes, a higher quality egg (Grade AA or A) is preferred. For hard-boiling purposes, a lower quality egg (Grade B) is preferred.

Additionally, retailers utilize the Use By or Sell By dates for stock rotation or inventory control.

USDA Egg grades
There are three consumer grades for eggs: U.S. Grade AA, A, and B. The grade is determined by the interior quality of the egg and the appearance and condition of the egg shell. Eggs of any quality grade may differ in weight (size).

U.S. Grade AA eggs have whites that are thick and firm; yolks that are high, round, and practically free from defects; and clean, unbroken shells. Grade AA and Grade A eggs are best for frying and poaching where appearance is important.

U.S. Grade A eggs have characteristics of Grade AA eggs except that the whites are “reasonably” firm. This is the quality most often sold in stores.

U.S. Grade B eggs have whites that may be thinner and yolks that may be wider and flatter than eggs of higher grades. The shells must be unbroken, but may show slight stains. This quality is seldom found in retail stores because they are usually used to make liquid, frozen, and dried egg products.

USDA Sizing of Eggs
Size tells you the minimum required net weight per dozen eggs. It does not refer to the dimensions of an egg or how big it looks. While some eggs in the carton may look slightly larger or smaller than the rest, it is the total weight of the dozen eggs that puts them in one of the following classes:

Size or Weight Class Minimum net weight per dozen
Jumbo …………………. 30 ounces
Extra Large …………. 27 ounces
Large ………………… 24 ounces
Medium ………………… 21 ounces
Small ………………… 18 ounces
Peewee ………………… 15 ounces

USDA Should you wash eggs?
No. It’s not necessary or recommended for consumers to wash eggs and may actually increase the risk of contamination because the wash water can be “sucked” into the egg through the pores in the shell When the chicken lays the egg, a protective coating is put on the outside by the hen. Government regulations require that USDA-graded eggs be carefully washed and sanitized using only compounds meeting FDA regulations for processing foods.

Chicken growers have a large selection to choose from. The tiny Mille Fleur to the New Jersey and Black Giants. Everything from plain Jane everyday chickens to award winning Fancy’s. They come in every color in a rainbow to solid whites or blacks. Some breeds are very quite easy to handle others always seem to be a bit stand offish and on the skittish side. With that said, they all have a few things in common. They are always fun to raise, fun to watch, wonderful table meat and produce eggs from thumb nail size to extra large. No mater what breed you select I’m sure you will enrich your life and give your family an experience they will carry through life. You will be blessed having them in your backyard survival farm.

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Fat May Not Be What Is Making You Sick

Before you dive off the deep end and go postal on me.
Remember All Things In Moderation. Even to much clear cold pure spring water is not good for you.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack it seems has been promoting their own personal agenda. Making recommendations and directing publication be biased towards fat to fit their on agenda.

Capitol Hill at a hearing before the House Agriculture Committee, congressional lawmakers from both sides of the aisle called on Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to explain the reasoning behind shifting dietary guidelines. The debate on the government’s dietary advisory committee, seems to center on the science behind the guidelines, and as I’ve been saying all along, fat is not the enemy. And science proves it.

Your body needs saturated fats for proper function. We evolved as hunter gatherers, eating animal products and fruits for most of our existence on earth. That’s why the low fat movement makes no sense. We’re designed to eat these foods.

Butter has almost the same percentages of polyunsaturated saturated and monounsaturated fats as breast milk.
Clearly nature started us out on a high fat diet. Butter has been demonized but organic butter with no hormones and no antibiotics is a healthy dietary fat.
Every cell in the body requires cholesterol. The reason people have been getting sick on low fat is they are denying their cellular structure including cells in the brain one of the most important building blocks.

2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggested we reduce our saturated fat intake to only 10% or less of total calories. But research shows this is the opposite of what people require for health. Fats provide a number of significant benefits, building materials for cell membranes and hormones help with absorption of minerals like calcium activity as antiviral agents carrying important fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and modulating genetic regulation and helping prevent cancer.

2013, prominent London cardiologist Aseem Malhotra argued in the British Medical Journal that you should ignore advice to reduce your saturated fat intake, because it’s actually increasing your risk for obesity and heart attack.
March 2014, a new meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, using data from more than a half million people, reported that those who consumed higher amounts of saturated fat have no more heart disease than those who consume less.
I guess that’s why so many fat doctors live well into their 90’s.

Fats are protective! They create the vital barrier in our GI tract that prevents toxins from making their way into our bloodstream and up to our brains.

It’s time to dispel the cholesterol myth. That myth dates back to when President Eisenhower, who was known to love his bacon, eggs, butter and toast, had a heart attack.
The public and politicians were concerned. Ansel Keys has conducted his Seven Countries Study around that time and found that people in countries that consumed the smallest amount of fats had the least cases of heart disease. But Ansel Keys had cherry-picked his data to support that “fact.” That was the beginning of the massive shift to low fat, margarine instead of butter, and other new fake chemical foods.

2012, Norwegian University of Science and technology researchers looked at more than 52,000 adults and found that women with “high cholesterol” (more than 270 mg/dl) had a 28% lower mortality rate than women with “low cholesterol.”
Researchers also found that women face a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, and cardiac arrest with lower cholesterol levels.
Read more

Country life is a good life.

Happy Fall gardening

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Eggs The Other White Meat!

I think I said that my last 3 pullets had started laying, back in late August or maybe it was the first week of September. Grin .. Be it August or September, I’m now getting 5 eggs a day.

Not understanding ‘new’ math or this crap Obama’s department of education calls ‘common core’.
I am using old school arithmetic (from the Greek ἀριθμός arithmos, “number”) I learned in a 4 room country school. Lets see, 5 eggs everyday, having 7 days in a week, let’s see now that adds up to??? Crap that’s 35 eggs a week.
Doing a bit more arithmetic having a extended family of 4 and myself, = one egg a day. That’s a manageable number.
However, when some family members don’t hold up their end of the bargain and eat their ‘required’ one egg, I soon find that my tiny refrigerator is running out of space to store egg cartons.

For the record, My Country School, YES, we Prayed everyday, we said the Pledge Of Allegiance Everyday. We played OMG, out of doors. Many of us walked to and from school(up to a mile or more) ‘Alone.’ We actually worked on the farm, planted, weeded gardens and crops. In the Fall season school closed it’s doors for two weeks so the ‘Kids’ could work in the fields helping their family harvest cotton and sorghum crops.

Yes, fall was also the time for killing, butchering and processing poultry and hogs(men and boy’s work). To be consumed fresh, cured or canned(Hehehe, women and girls work) for winter storage.
It was the season for hunting doves, quail, ducks, geese, rabbits, squirrels, wild hogs, deer and almost anything else that did not eat us first.
It was the season for trap lines for fur bearing animals(mostly predators of poultry and livestock), things like fox, coyote, skunks, raccoons, opossums and bobcats. Wow, a good quality bobcat hide would fetch as much as $5.00. (That’s more than a days wages in the 1945’s).
[1945 minimum wage $0.40] [1950 – $0.75] [1956 – $1.00] [1968 – $1.60] [1975 – $2.10]

Big Grin … Oooops, got off on a rant.
Question of the day. Why and when did so many of our young adults and children come to believe hard, dirty, sweaty, honest ‘work’ is a dirty 4 letter word to be avoided and not embraced?

Back to The Other White Meat, Eggs. Being a frugal shopper, when my local feed store had it’s winter clearance on chicks, I bought 10 assorted Bantams. I lost 2 chicks when a bull snake found it’s way in to my brooder. I now have ‘best I can tell’ 2 roosters and 6 pullets. These pullets should start laying about the first week of March.
Mmmm… 5 eggs a day plus 6 new layers at 1 egg a day, let’s see that’s ??? I don’t know but it must be a lot of eggs.

Country life is a good life.

Happy Fall gardening

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Butter The New Health Food?

Butter unlikely to harm health

A study has shown, Saturated fat does not increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes or early death.

Saturated fat found in butter, meat or cream is unlikely to kill you, but margarine might. Traditionally dieticians have advised people to cut down on animal fats, the biggest ever study has shown that it does not increase the risk of stroke, heart disease or diabetes.

Trans-fats, found in processed foods like margarine raises the risk of death by 34 per cent. Trans fats have no health benefits and pose a significant risk for heart disease.

New research which looked at 50 studies involving more than one million people found there was no evidence that saturated fat was bad for health.
It backs up recent research from the University of Cambridge that found saturated fat in dairy foods might protect against diabetes.

The “vilification” of saturated fats dates back to the 1950s when research suggested a link between high dietary saturated fat intake. However this study author drew his conclusions on data from six countries, choosing to ignore the data from a further 16, which did not fit with his hypothesis.

Grin … Grandma’s fried ham or bacon, buttered biscuits and eggs are back on the breakfast menu.

Think before you snack. Eat healthy.

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It’s A Weird, Weird World

You can’t make this stuff up!

It’s the food movement sweeping the nation: Clean eating.

It means knowing where your food comes from and where it has been before it gets to your table.

You may have heard the expression “farm-to-table.” Now, a new business goes one step further: “Backyard-to-table.” And sometimes, that trend involves chicken rentals!

Grin … maybe ‘Rent A Chick’ will become a national franchise.

Happy Hen House?