Do You Have Extra Eggs in the Spring?
Hens naturally start laying extra eggs in the spring so they can raise a clutch of chicks. Since most hens don’t go broody and hatch their eggs, it’s up to us to collect these extra eggs for our table. Do you have too many eggs this spring? Are you looking for ways to use, store, or sell all of those extra eggs? Here are some ideas in case you have too many eggs stashed in your refrigerator.
I sell some of my extra eggs to friends who are happy with these little homestead treasures. You’ll want to know if you need to have a license, new egg cartons, wash the eggs, only sell from your home, no deliveries…any rules put in place by your local health department should be researched. Make sure you do that before you start selling eggs so you know what your responsibilities are.
Use Those Extra Eggs!
Maybe selling isn’t going to work out, or you don’t want to be bothered with the details. Here are some ideas to help you use those eggs or store them for later.
- Freeze your extra eggs – crack the fresh eggs into a bowl and gently scramble. Mix in 1/8 tsp salt or 1.5 tsp sugar for every 4 eggs to keep the yolks from getting gummy in texture. You can pour the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze, then transfer to freezer bags for longer storage (vacuum seal bags are great for preventing freezer burn). Label the bag and use the eggs within a year. Thaw the egg mixture for 24 hours before using. Use 2 cubes for a large egg. If you would normally use half a dozen for breakfast, you might find it more convenient to freeze 6 eggs lightly beaten in a pint-sized freezer container.
- Make egg noodles in large batches and freeze or dry for later. Check out my post How to Make Egg Noodles.
- Have eggs for dinner. You can make scrambled eggs or a quiche with fresh veggies (try asparagus, spinach, kale, spring onions, or peas fresh from the garden). We like to make a pancake and egg breakfast at dinner time occasionally.
- Hard boil the eggs that are a couple of weeks old and use them for deviled eggs and egg salad sandwiches. Slice them on your salad or take whole, peeled eggs to work for lunch. Boiled eggs may also be frozen for a month or so. The whites get a bit rubbery, but they’re not bad.
- For a quick breakfast or lunch, try this Easy Microwave Egg Scramble. You can also check for ideas on The Incredible Edible Egg.
- Make custard pies, bread or rice pudding, Homemade Chocolate Pudding, meringues, or even a souffle’ if you are feeling adventurous. Try a Rhubarb Custard Pie with your homegrown rhubarb!
- Trade them with friends and family for babysitting, homemade cookies, or whatever works for both of you.
- Coat with mineral oil and store them, large end up, in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 months…just about the time your hens start to slow down.
Still Have Extra Eggs?
So you’ve eaten as many eggs as you can, put a bunch in the freezer, and are so tired of them that you don’t know what to do…but the hens keep on laying. Maybe you’ve heard of old fashioned methods for preserving eggs in waterglass or packed in sand? Or you may have read that unwashed eggs keep better than washed. Is it possible to keep extra eggs on hand without freezing? I found Dark Brown Eggs’ post ‘Wash egg or not for storage?’ and thought the information was pretty interesting. They experimented with keeping extra eggs in different storage situations for up to 7 months and give a detailed account of how well they kept. It makes me wonder if my compulsion to wash eggs is something I need to overcome.
*Note: I decided to try keeping unwashed extra eggs at room temperature to see how long they would last. I was able to use them for 3 months.
Unfortunately, with 50 laying hens who think they all need to use the same 3 nesting boxes, I have pretty dirty eggs sometimes. The basket full below was in definite need of a good washing. If you must wash the eggs, use warm (not hot) water. If necessary, I will use a tiny bit of all natural dish detergent on particularly poopy eggs. For better storage qualities, rub a small amount of mineral oil over the exterior of washed eggs.
Not sure if those stored eggs are good or bad? You may have seen the videos and instructions that show eggs floating that are bad. I’ve done this, then cracked the floating eggs. I found most of them to still be usable. They were fine for using in baking and, in some cases, for scrambled eggs. But make sure they don’t smell funny, or have really runny yolks. Use your best judgement. If in doubt, throw them out…in the chicken yard where your flock will happily consume them.
Do you have suggestions for chicken keepers overrun with eggs in the spring? How do you store the eggs from your hens? And do you wash your eggs or keep them natural with the bloom intact?
More Ideas for Those Extra Eggs in Spring!
- Donate them to a local food pantry, if allowed.
- Hatch out fertile eggs for your next flock or for chicks to sell.
- Sell fertile eggs to enthusiasts looking for eggs to hatch.
- Set up an incubator with fertile eggs for a classroom at your local elementary school or nursing home. They will have a great time watching the chicks hatch!
- I saw an ad on Craigslist that read something like…”Fertile eggs available for $3 per dozen. You hatch out for your classroom and then I will take the chicks back. No need to find homes for them.”
- If you run out of ideas, scramble the eggs and feed them to your pets or back to the chickens. They will love the extra protein.
If you feel a little overwhelmed by all the extra eggs right now, not to worry! Before you know it, you’ll need to read my article How to Get More Eggs from Your Hens!