Here is an explanation of sell by date and packing dates on your egg cartons: 5 Things You Didn't Know About Buying Eggs. Just some of the reasons why I go to all the trouble that I do to raise and keep a flock of hens. If I couldn't raise my own I definitely would be hunting around for a source for farm fresh eggs. Some things are worth the price if you can swing it at all and I would rather spend money on good quality food before buying other less necessary (to me) things. Even when we lived in the heart of the city we had a hen named Miss Liz who gave us an egg a day. She was hatched as part of our son Zack's first grade nature project and lived in our back yard for seven years along with two dogs and some rabbits. Miss Liz died peacefully of old age and the dogs were pretty upset because they didn't have her to play tag with anymore. The rabbits are a whole other story!
Right now we have Silent Bob and the girls. Nine beautiful hens who give seven to nine eggs a day in good weather. If it's cold or dreary outside the hens lay less and as they get older they will produce fewer eggs. Right now Bob and the ladies are in the prime of life so they're all producing well.
What in the world do I do with all these eggs you might ask? Chris and I do eat a fair amount of eggs. We have no fear of good farm fresh eggs and I use them for baking and cooking without qualms. My son's family lives down the road and they benefit from having Grammy's flock so close by as well. That still leaves quite a few eggs left over and those I sell to friends for $2.50/doz. That's about half the cost of free range eggs in the market. I'm not trying to make money off my friends. They don't feel right taking the eggs for nothing so I just charge them something and we all feel OK. I usually bring the eggs to town on quilt group day in a cooler, collect my egg money and then we all go to lunch!
Speaking of egg money did you know that traditionally on the farm the poultry where the province of the farm wife? The poultry yard was usually built close to the house so she could take care of the hens, geese and ducks and proceeds from the sale of eggs and feathers belonged to her. Her egg money to use for cloth and pins, ribbons and notions. Of course it also made it easier for her to catch that hen for Sunday dinner too.
Until next time,