Damson Cottage Garden

Our Eggs

When researching whether to get hens I had so many questions about eggs! What colour eggs are laid by each breed? How many eggs do they lay? What  is the size difference between bantam and full sized eggs? .. and sooo many more questions. In case you have the same queries I have made a section on eggs just for you!

These are the fresh eggs from our chickens today. I love having different breeds because you get different colour eggs, also you can tell who is pulling their weight and laying!

Bantam and full sized eggs

This is a our bantam Araucana egg compared to a full sized chicken egg (the type you buy in the supermarket). All of our bantams lay similar sized eggs. When cooking we use one and a half bantam eggs per egg needed in the recipe, so if a cake needs 2 eggs we use 3 bantam eggs.

Bantam vs supermarket medium sized egg

Bantam vs supermarket medium sized egg

When fried the bantam and full sized eggs have a similar yolk size, the bantam egg has less white – great if like me you are not too keen on the white. Bantam eggs make lovely yellow omelettes and cakes because of the higher yolk ratio. Apparently the more greens you feed your hens the more yellow the egg yolk, and the higher the omega 3 content of the eggs.

Two fried eggs: One bantam and one supermarket

Bantam vs supermarket egg

Here are our hens and the eggs they lay. When we collect the eggs we always to make sure we write the date the egg was laid in pencil. Its best not to write in pen as the egg shell is permeable.

Our Goldline hen Ginger is a full sized. She is a hybrid and lays lots of eggs, about 250-300 per year. Her eggs look like large supermarket eggs. Blue the bantam Araucana lays beautiful pale blue eggs, about 200 eggs per year. She has laid every day since February, this is possibly because she is in her prime- hens stop laying so much as they get older. Hens also lay according to the amount of daylight they get, so in the spring and summer they tend to lay more than the winter.

Goldline and bantam araucana hens and eggs

Ginger and Blue

Our bantam Orpington Dusty lays about 160 eggs a year. They are a similar size to the other bantam eggs but are slightly longer and more pointed in shape. They are a lovely pale cream colour. Finally Dot, our Pekin, lays about 160 lovely off-white round eggs, it seems fitting that as she is our roundest shape hen she lays the roundest eggs. I think 2 full sized hens, or 3 bantams, would keep 2 adults with enough eggs for themselves and the odd box for friends and neighbours.

Bantam Orpington and Pekin hens and eggs

Bantam Orpington and Pekin

I store our eggs on the work surface in my grandmother’s china hen. Because eggs are porous they can take up strong smells from cooking so its best to keep them covered. You can keep them in the fridge but I don’t think this is necessary. I was reading that Delia Smith keeps her eggs out of the fridge so they are always at room temperature for cooking, if its good enough for Delia, its good enough for me!

You can check if an egg is safe to eat by putting it in a bowl of water, if it floats its gone off. Eggs will keep for about 3 weeks, but we usually eat ours within a week of being laid as they are too delicious to leave in the china hen for long.

I hope this post helps answer some of your egg questions. Thanks for reading, Jane

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