While most of us buy our eggs in cartons at the grocery store, there are some lucky individuals among us who have their own chicken coops, and get to enjoy farm-fresh eggs every day. Of course, this does come with a trade-off, as taking care of your own flock of chickens is a lot of work.
For those who do own chickens, collecting eggs out of the chicken coop is a daily task. One constant problem that many chicken-owners face, however, is how to carry all of the eggs they’ve collected without breaking them.
Wherever there is a problem, somewhere on the internet you will find a solution, and this time is no different. Some particularly crafty chicken-owners have come up with a creative way to safely store your eggs until you can get them into your kitchen.
An Egg-Celent Apron
Heart Hook Homes, an online shop that specializes in custom crochet patterns, has created a crocheted apron that can hold up to nineteen eggs at once. It conveniently ties around your waist, freeing up your hands for more egg-snatching .
If you would like to make one of your own, the pattern is available for purchase on the shop’s Etsy website. All you will need to get started is a size J crochet hook, a needle for sewing, bobby pins, and 725 yards of cotton blend .
While you’re on the site, you can browse many of their other patterns for jackets, blankets, slippers, and more.
If crocheting isn’t your strong suit, you can still own one of these handy aprons. There are many different ready-made egg aprons in a range of styles, sizes, and prices, available on Etsy or Amazon to satisfy your egg-carrying needs.
What You Should Know Before Raising Chickens
Perhaps you are reading this because you or someone you know already owns chickens, or maybe this apron caught your eye because you are considering getting a few birds yourself. If you’ve been debating on whether or not you should try raising chickens, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind.
Before you purchase and raise chickens, there are some important things to keep in mind. Check your local bylaws, and understand what is and isn’t allowed. Every town and municipality has its own rules regarding how many chickens you’re allowed to keep, if you’re allowed to have roosters, and whether or not you need a permit.
If eggs are the only thing you’re after, then you actually do not need a rooster. Hens will lay eggs regardless, so if the laws in your area do not allow you to keep a rooster, you may still be able to raise chickens.
When building or purchasing a coop, consider how much space you have available. A coop should provide three to five square feet of floor space per chicken, so how much space you have available may dictate how many chickens you can keep.
When properly cared for, a chicken can live for up to ten years. Most hens, however, will only lay eggs regularly for two or three years, after which her egg production will begin to decrease by about twenty percent per year. Chickens also do not lay eggs all year round. In the winter, when they begin molting and get less sunlight, egg production will slow considerably, if not stop altogether.
One benefit to farm fresh eggs is that they do not need to be washed or refrigerated. Every egg has a protective coating called the “bloom”, that prevents air and bacteria from entering the egg through the pores in the shell. For this reason, eggs can sit out at room temperature for weeks. Washing is best done immediately before use, with a gentle rinse under warm water, and if you’re not planning on eating your eggs fairly soon, popping them in the fridge will help them to last longer.
Chickens lay a lot of eggs, and if you’re planning on selling your excess eggs, you should check your egg bylaws first. Each state has different laws regarding how eggs must be handled, labeled, and sold.
Finally, keep in mind that since they can’t fly, chickens are extremely vulnerable to all kinds of predators, including foxes, hawks, coyotes, raccoons, and even the family dog. For their safety, it is important that they have a securely enclosed pen during the day, or a dedicated guard-animal if they are going to roam freely .
The Benefits of Raising Chickens
Aside from laying eggs, there are many other benefits to raising chickens. They create excellent fertilizer for your garden, they can help you clean your yard, they’ll eat all your leftover food scraps from salads, vegetable peelings, rice, fruits, nuts, and seeds, and they’re a natural way to help control bugs and weeds.
Chickens also make great pets. They each have their own personalities, and can actually be very affectionate toward humans. They can be sweet, shy, grouchy, or playful, and you can have a tonne of fun playing with your pet birds .
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