Saturday, January 22, 2011

How long will fresh chicken eggs keep?

I'm starting to think that maybe I should have named my blog something "The life of a chicken farmer" or "My 10 Chicks and my kids too"

One of the most popular questions I have had so far is - "how long does a farm fresh egg keep for?" So I did a search and found the results very interesting!!

This is taken from
  • Farmers have 30 days from the day an egg is laid to get it to stores. Then, the stores have another 30 days to sell the eggs. The USDA recommends a maximum of 5 weeks in your refrigerator before you discard your eggs. What does this all boil down to? On April 1, you could be eating an egg that was laid on Christmas.
  • Eggs last about 4-5 weeks in your refrigerator. If you don't know how long the egg has been in the refrigerator, fill a cup with water (enough to cover the egg), and put the egg in the cup. If the egg sinks to the bottom, it is still good to eat; if the egg floats, however, it is bad and should be discarded.
  • Many eggs in the U.S. get to market within a few days of laying. If there is a USDA shield on the carton, it must have at least a Julian pack date. A use-by is not required, but if used, it must not be more than 45 days from packing. If the eggs are not distributed interstate, state laws will apply and are variable.

#22 On My Bucket List = Completed

 #22 on my bucket list was to improve the look of my blog.'s improved!!!! I LOVE IT!!! I feel like the new design is more "me"! When I originally added this to the list, I had every intention of doing the improvements myself. But it proved to be too difficult for me - I don't understand html code etc.

So??!! What do you think? Do you like it??

I want to thank PIP Designs! She was very speedy and precise in her design. I didn't have to change a thing!!!

Our Princess in PigTails Designs

Friday, January 21, 2011

LOTS of Eggs! And things that kids say...

Yesterday I got 6 eggs from my chickens and today I got 9! WOW!!! I'm so happy that they are laying and that I have gotten them to this point. It feels really rewarding!!!! Don't forget to keep those egg recipes coming....I have a feeling that I'm really going to need them.

We went to my Mother's to hand out for a bit tonight. On the way home I pointed out the beautiful, almost full Moon. It is at this point that Eian proceeded to tell JJ NOT to look directly at it or she would turn into a Werewolf. Of course, this freaks JJ out and bit and she asks me if it is true  - which I respond isn't true. Eian yells back that it is and I said that I have been looking at moons for a very long time and I have never turned into a werewolf. He said it had to be true because it's a "legend" - his definition of a legend = a old story that is true.

1/21 My daily contest/giveaway entries - you can enter too :)

    Quick Chicken Cacciatore

    Source: The Pampered Chef Main Dishes - Recipes at the Heart of Every Meal - page 21 -

    1 package (10.5) ounces frozen fat-free breaded chicken breast patties, partially thawed
    1 medium green bell pepper
    4 ounces mushrooms, sliced (about 1 cup)
    1 small onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
    8 ounces uncooked linguine
    2 cans (14-1/2 ounces) Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes, undrained
    1 garlic clove, pressed
    Fresh grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

    1. Cut chicken patties into 3/4 inch strips and bell pepper into thin strips. Slice mushrooms and chop onion
    2. Cook linguine according to package directions. Drain and keep warm
    3. Meanwhile, heat skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Lightly spray with olive oil. Add chicken patty strips; cook 5 minutes turning frequently.
    4. Add tomatoes, bell pepper, mushrooms, onion and garlic. Bring to a boil; cover. Reduce heat; simmer 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serve over hot linguine; Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired. 
    serves 4

    I'm giving this recipe a: 

    I didn't have Italian style tomatoes, so I just added some Italian seasoning to the skillet. I also didn't have enough liquid to bring the dish to a boil. But my family loved it (especially my husband). This is certainly a keeper and I will be making it again!!

    Mega Swag Bucks Day!!!!

    It is once again... "MEGA Swag Bucks Day!" I love Swag Bucks!

    Remember it takes just 450 SB to earn a $5 Amazon e-Gift Card or 1300 SB to score a $10 Star Bucks Gift Card and it takes just 2350.

    Swag Bucks was just featured in the last month's edition of Woman's Day Magazine as one of the 12 ways to earn money from home!

    I have been using Swag Bucks for over a year and I have scored SO many free gift cards!

    So start searching and let me know if you score any Big Bucks.

    Happy Searching!

    Search & Win Search & Win Search & Win

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Egg Recipes!!! I need help!!

    I saw this on a new "chicken farmer" friends blog and I hope she doesn't mind that I'm stealing it!! With 10 chickens I could be looking at 10 eggs at day - that is 70 eggs a week or possibly 240 eggs a MONTH!!!! So lets start a collection of recipes using multiple eggs - like 4 or more!!!! Send me your favorites!!!! How many recipes do you think we could get in a year??

    Chicken Coop Solutions!

    I mentioned earlier this week that my hens were only using 1 out of the 3 nesting boxes provided for them! This morning I went out to let them out for the day, feed & water them and check for eggs. I was pleasantly surprised to find eggs in 2 out of the 3 today!!! I think that maybe because I have more hens laying they needed the other box (finally). I did find one on the ground and one out in the run! I guess that happens from time to time! Maybe once I am able to keep more nesting material in the boxes they will lay all of their eggs there!!

    Which brings me to the next problem that I have already mentioned. The lip on the front of the box is too short. My Dad is going to help me put a taller one on it (his payment will be in the form of eggs). Hopefully once this is in place the wood shavings and hay will stay in place! Stay tuned to find out if it works or not!!

    I'm happy to report that yesterday I got 4 eggs and so far today I have gotten 6! So that means that (most likely) at least 6 of the hens are now laying! This is so much fun - I love having them and I'm enjoying it very much!!

    Baked Potato soup

    Source: The Pampered Chef Main Dishes - recipes at the heart of every meal
    page 7

    4 medium baked potatoes
    2 slices bacon
    1/2 cup celery, chopped
    1/2 cup green onion with tops, thinly sliced
    1 14-1/2 ounce can chicken broth
    1-1/2 cup milk
    1 garlic clove, pressed
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1 cup light sour cream
    2 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)

    1. Remove skins from baked potatoes. In classic batter bowl, coarsely mash potatoes with nylon masher
    2. In 4 quart casserole, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towel to drain; crumble and set aside. Discard all but 1/2 teaspoon drippings in pan.
    3. Meanwhile, chop celery with food chopper. Thinly slice green onions with utility knife. Add chicken broth, milk, mashed potatoes, celery, onions, garlic, salt and black pepper to drippings in pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes.
    4. Stir in sour cream and reserved bacon. Ladle into bowls and top with cheese
    I'm giving this recipe a:
    I didn't have to make any changes nor would I! It was perfect just as it was!! 

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    How many times.......

    How many times a day do I clean this area?? TOO MANY!!!! Brooklinn LOVES to put on different hats and wrap herself in a scarf and wear our shoes! She has fun so I let her do it! But I think I might change my strategy up a bit - I will wait until later in the day to clean it up (no matter how badly I want to do it right now)!!!!

    Reminds me of a quote I read once: cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing! 

    Of course I shouldn't take this quote literal. I waited for it to stop snowing before shoveling a few years ago!  It was so deep that I almost couldn't do it and it took much, much longer than it should have! I guess I need to look for that "happy medium" - somewhere between my house being spotless and my house resembling a pig sty!

    Crockpot Creamy Macaroni & Beef

    Taken from: Dinner$ on a Dime - GOOSEBERRY PATCH COOKBOOKS  p. 126

    1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
    2 10-3/4 ounce cans cream of mushroom soup
    8 ounce package shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
    7 ounce package elbow macaroni uncooked
    2 cups of milk
    1/2 - 1 teaspoon onion powder
    1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon pepper

    Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker; mix well. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 hours, or until macaroni is tender. Serves 8

    I'm giving this recipe a:
    It was too creamy for me! I like my macaroni and cheese to be more cheesy. I also felt that the noodles were too "done" and the whole dish looked a little mushy....too mushy for me! I would LOVE it if you would share your favorite Macaroni and Cheese recipe with me!! Thanks!!!!

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    Chicken Coop Problems!

    My hens are finally laying eggs consistently! I am getting at least 2 or 3 a day! Now that they are laying them more often I'm starting to realize the problems with my coop!
    1. there are too many "hidden" places in there. We have some extra pieces of wood and lattice that are stacked up in the corner of the coop. I had no idea that the chickens would use this to their advantage. They are getting into little areas and laying eggs in there. So everyday it is like I'm having a Easter Egg Hunt! Last week I found a nest that had 10 eggs in it. That many eggs made one of my hens to go broody and she wasn't happy when I took the eggs away. Last night I found another hidden nest, this time only contained 2 eggs (one of which was frozen and no good). For now, I'm going to play along and allow them to lay in the hidden nest I found last night and maybe that will prevent anymore from being made!
    2. my hens are only using one of the 3 nesting boxes to lay eggs. Right now that isn't causing much of a problem because there are so few eggs being produced. But once all 10 of them start laying it could pose a problem. For now I will stick this problem on the back burner
    3. I have been filling the nesting boxes up with hay and I also have been filling them up with wood chips. Ive also filled them up with hay and wood chips combines. I'm trying to find that perfect "nesting material". Now that the nesting boxes (or box) is getting more use the material is being thrown out of the nest. I found a cracked egg this morning and a completely broken one just a bit ago. I'm going to have Jason put a taller rim on the front of the box and see if this will rectify the problem. I really hope so because I hate the thought of a wasted egg!
    I cooked one of the eggs I found this morning right up. And it was a double yolk! Doesn't that mean good luck??

    1/18 giveaways entered - you can enter too!!!

    You can expect me to be entered a LOT of giveaways in the next few days! Have you heard about A Blogtastic Extravaganza?? It goes until January 22nd!

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    1/17 giveaways entered - you can enter too!!!

    • I entered for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to or! This can be found at "ace and friends co": - ends on 2/4/11
    • I joined the SNAPWARE family and entered to win a 14 piece storage container set at 'The Thrifty Things" - this ends on: 1/28/11
    • I've entered to win a prize package of OCEAN Nasal Care products at "Things Sent My Way" - this ends on: 1/26/11

    Blog design

    #22 on my BUCKET LIST!! 

    I don't think I'm alone when I say that I want my blog to stand out - to be different - to be noticed and to be something that "fits" me, my family and what I write about. I can't afford to pay someone to do it and I was getting frustrated trying to figure it out on my own. I stalked some of my friends pages and found out that people make pre-made or blog templates for a low fee - about $20! PERFECT!!!!!

    But I can't find one that just screams....PICK ME - PICK ME!!!! I want something that is "country" looking and since I have chickens - I would LOVE to have something with a chicken or egg theme but something family looking too!!!!

    I've seen a lot of owls!! Why owls? I've seen lots of victorian styles and modern styles but I haven't seen anything "country" looking!!!!

    The search in on........

    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    A broody hen is a crazy chicken

    I had my first hen go broody on me. She hid a nest in the chicken coop and managed to lay 10 eggs before I found them. We don't have a Rooster so of course the eggs weren't fertilized. Therefore, I had to take them away. They were unusable because they had froze and the shells cracked leaving it easy for bacteria to become present. I felt horrible taking the eggs away from her and she certainly didn't make me feel any better about it. She ran around that coop squawking and searching for them for almost 2 days.

    In case you don't know, a broody hen is one who feels in the need to have babies.She will continue to lay eggs until she has about ten and then she will stop laying. At this point, she feels she has a large enough clutch (or group of eggs), and begin incubating the eggs. Nature has designed it so that all of the eggs will hatch at the same time, even though they were layed over several days.

    We are now averaging about 2 eggs a day but pretty soon we should be up to about 10 eggs a day! Be sure to keep up with the egg counter that I have started. It is on the left side of this blog!