Friday, January 13, 2012

Unexpected treasure bounties of the free-ranged flock!

Know what happens when you free-range your laying flock on 2-acres of pasture?  Sometimes you have to look for the eggs in some very unusual places!    
Unexpected cache of hidden treasure!
I thought my flocks lower egg count was due to the seasonal change from extended periods of sun with some warmth behind it to limited sun and downright C-O-L-D mornings (it was 23-degrees here at 8am).  While that may still be the case, I stumbled across this cache of hidden treasure while working on another project on the property 

What an unexpected bounty!  

Most of my gals will take the time and effort to head back to the coop to lay their eggs.  This is evident in the egg count I get in the nests provided.  I guess some of them just can't make it back in time or maybe their favorite nesting box is "busy" when they go in and instead of waiting in line, they decide to go somewhere else.  Who knows their reasoning?  I sure don't!  

Unfortunately, I’m not sure just how long these eggs have been here and while it may be perfectly safe to eat them ourselves (eggs can keep for months at a time according to this Mother Earth News  article), I’m in the business of selling the end product.  Why take unnecessary risks?  So, I will do the float test on these eggs and if they pass, I will boil them up and then feed them back to the flock.  They need the extra protein for egg production anyway....  

My loss, their gain.  

But now that I know their secret hiding place (at least one of them!!), I will have to be sure to check it every day to see if they're sneaking back in to lay while they're loose.  

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