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Raising Chicks: Week 21

We skipped a few weeks here. Glad to be back!

Are your hens laying yet?

Here are some basic guidelines we follow when we are collecting eggs:

Collect eggs a couple times a day. This is especially important in the New Mexico heat. Make sure you don't leave your eggs in the nest for a few days. Best bet: morning and evening. This prevents spoiling, breaking and overcrowding. If you collect eggs and leave them on the counter, they may be good for up to a week. BUT once you refrigerate an egg, you can't take it back out until you are cooking. Most people who leave their eggs out, do some baking with their eggs - a room temperature egg is best for baking. At some point you are going to have more eggs than you know what to do with. How will you keep track of them? Mark the eggs with the collection date in pencil. You can mark cartons with a sharpie (keeping in mind that you'll reuse cartons again and again). Farm-raised refrigerated eggs will last for approximately 1 month. Some blogs say longer, but that's what we are comfortable telling our customers. "Washing the egg will take care of the dirt, but it will also remove the natural, anti-bacterial coating on the shell, called the "bloom" making it more susceptible to bacteria and spoilage." (from Backyard Chickens) If there are feathers or poop on the egg, give it a light buff with a dry toothbrush, a rag or a slightly abrasive pad (we're not talking an SOS pad, here, something way more gentle). You don't want to scrub the egg, you're washing away it's protective surface if you do that. If you get an egg that's really dirty, you can wash it in warm water. Cold water brings bacteria into the egg. There are egg washing solutions, we don't sell them or recommend them. Don't use soap or bleach. Don't soak eggs in soapy water, that will allow bacteria into the egg. Don't believe us or wanna try it? Put food coloring in a cup with water and the egg. Wait for an hour, then crack the egg and see how much got in. We wouldn't recommend eating that egg. Share your results with us at


At this point you should be feeding Purina Layena: This will guarantee nice-sized eggs with firm shells, marigold yolks and healthy happy hens. If you want to add some Omega-3 to your diet, we also have Layena Plus Omega-3. It's just like the Purina Layena, but it gets some Omega-3 into the hens, and that is passed on to their eggs. If you've heard of the benefits of fish oil and Omega-3, you know how great those fatty acids can be for your good health. Not familiar with Omega-3s? Here's Wikipedia's page about them.

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