Over the last few years, our chickens have produced well for us. We have had eggs in abundance for most of the year, so much so that we would give eggs away to our friends and family. There were always a few weeks, usually in December or January, where we wouldn’t get any eggs due to the natural cycle of the chickens.
Last year we picked up another 15 chicks. They did not produce much last year, maybe a few eggs. A couple of weeks ago. they starting ramping up their production. To this, I must admit, I began feeding them more and a higher protein content diet. We are now getting at least a dozen eggs a day. This is far too many eggs to eat, but we have been reading up about something called glassing eggs.
The idea of glassing eggs is to mix a concoction to the ratio of 1 quart water to 1 oz of hydrated lime. I am using a 5 gallon bucket with 3 gallons of distilled water and 12 oz hydrated lime. I can always add a little more should I need to. So, you put your eggs in this concoction, and they should last 12-18 months. I have read that some people even say they can last up to 2 years this way.
There are some caveats to this, though. The eggs have to be fresh, as in laid that day. You only want to use clean eggs with the bloom intact. I read this as eggs that are clean, and you do not mess with them. No washing or wiping off. Apparently people have been doing this for a couple hundreds of years. Supposedly a 5 gallon bucket will store 10-12 dozen eggs, so that will be an interesting experiment, and very useful in the future should things go south and what we have is all we got.
Another thing to think about, especially this year, is going to be limiting the amount of feed you give your chickens. This may sound odd, but think about the natural production of feed this year. I am talking about the cicada population we are about to have here in the north east. I strongly suggest continuing to buy feed, especially as my local feed supplier is talking about how hard it is to keep costs down as prices keep rising on animal feed.
We will still be buying more feed for the chickens and goats, but for the chickens, the Cicadas will become a portion of their meals in the coming weeks. I will also be looking into methods of utilizing them for longer term feeds for the chickens, and if I find anything, I will be sure to post. Also, gotta make sure the hay is planned out. Luckily, having 2 Nigerian Dwarfs goats, each small square bale last between 3 weeks and a month. We had to buy some from Tractor Supply recently because we were not as prepared for the goats eating more in the winter, but it was our first winter with the goats. We are going to grab a trailer load of hay here in a few weeks when our hay supplier has hay available again. We also get straw from the same source. This is nice because we can use it as bedding and in nesting boxes as well.
Anyhow, that is all I have for now. We are trying water glassing eggs, and we will let you know how it goes. Stay safe and stay prepared.