Now that we are well into our longest days of the year, the chickens are laying a LOT. We are getting three or four eggs each day, which adds up to about two dozen per week.
That's about twice as many as we can typically eat.
But it turns out that you can freeze eggs pretty easily, and that's what we've started to do:
The easiest way is to break the yolks and stir several eggs together (without whipping air into them). We do about six at a time into a liquid measuring cup, and stir in a big pinch of salt (which is supposed to help keep the yolks from getting to jelly-like once they are frozen). Then we just pour the eggs into the cups of an ice cube tray and pop into the freezer.
The only tricky part is not slopping the egg over the sides of the cups. No matter how slowly you pour, inevitably a blob of egg white will plop into the cup and make it overflow into its neighbors. Not too big of a deal.
I also found it a little challenging to twist the ice cube tray to pop them out, and ended up letting the tray thaw ever so slightly--about five minutes. Once I did get them out, I put them into a freezer bag to store:
This is, admittedly, a very strange sight.
After making a couple of trays, it looks like each cube is worth about a half an egg. When we want to use them, we just grab as many as we need, thaw in the fridge, and use in recipes or for scrambled eggs.
Well, in the fall the chickens will all be old enough to go through a real molt. Abigail already molted this spring, but it's likely the rest of them will shed their feathers sometime in November, when the days start to get really short. They'll need all their protein to make new feathers, so the eggs go on hold during the molt, through the winter, until the days get longer again in the spring. We'll build their light exposure back up with the lamp once they're done molting to help bring egg production back as soon as possible, but there will likely be a month or so with no eggs.
So it makes sense to save as many as we can now to ride out the molting when it happens. I've already frozen two dozen, and am hoping to set aside six or eight dozen in total. That's just a guess about how much we'd need based on an assumed six to eight week molting period, and egg consumption of a dozen per week.
As always, we'll see how it goes.