Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The first pullet egg is laid!

 I don't know who did it.
It could be this lovely pullet hen...
 ...or one of these white beauties.
One thing is sure, it was a perfect, tiny, white egg 
that could only be laid by a Pearl White Leghorn.
All the other hens are either brown or green egg layers.

My dear mother-in-law used to ONLY ever buy Pearl White Leghorn chicks.  She knew their reliability and egg-laying efficiency.   I think she was very frustrated with me when I brought home brown egg-laying chicks after she retired from taking care of the chickens.  I remember one time in particular when I asked her to gather the eggs for me while I was gone, and do you know what she did?  She brought in only the white eggs and left all the brown eggs in the nests.
Isn't that hilarious?

It is noted on the Murray McMurray Hatchery website that the Pearl White Leghorn is hands-down the best egg layer.  They start laying earlier than other breeds -- around 4 to 4.5 months of age -- and they lay eggs longer than the other breeds do.  My mother-in-law knew that they were high-powered egg layers and that they performed well in harsh, cold climates as well as hot climates which is what we have here in The Land of Extremes. They also eat less feed than heavier breeds which makes the feed to egg ratio a little more economical.  I'm excited to have the Leghorns back in production this year and the evidence of their productivity is already showing itself since our first egg came at about  4 months of age!

Last year I bought several different varieties of hens:  Buff Orpington, Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red, and White Rocks.  I had a American Auracana left over from the year before.  I have to say that this year was our worst year ever for egg production.  It seemed that they were poor, erratic layers.  For a few weeks we would get lots of eggs and then the next week we'd get half that amount.  It's  very frustrating when you are trying to feed three and sometimes four families with the eggs!  This year I have 22 Pearl White Leghorns and I anticipate 22 eggs per day when they all start laying which should be very soon!  

Have you ever noticed when buying "organic" or "free-range" eggs that they are always brown?  It is a misconception that the "healthier" eggs are always brown.  My white eggs will be every bit as "country fresh" and "free-range" as any other egg that has ever been produced here. 

Do you eat free-range eggs or farm-raised eggs?  What do you think of the comparison between eating a farm-raised egg verses a factory-raised egg?

One more thing to share and then I'll let you go.  Last week I learned about the best way to  hard-boil farm fresh eggs.  First off, I have never been able to make pretty deviled eggs using my home-raised eggs.  My wise mother-in-law always said to let them age a week or more before hard-boiling them for an easier peel. Well, who has a week to wait for that?  So I did a little looking around on Pinterest for a method to make the best hard-boiled egg with ease-of-peeling qualities.  And the verdict I came to was to steam the eggs.  Here's the link from Fresh Eggs Daily.  It worked for me beautifully!  I hope you'll give it a try, particularly if you use very fresh eggs.  OK, that's it.  May your eggs be perfectly cooked, however you like them!  By the way, how do you like your eggs?


  1. I'll share that link with our son and dil. They brought their fresh eggs from their chickens when they visited us a couple weekends ago. It took a good while for their chickens to start laying.

  2. I will definitely be trying the steaming trick. I knew that you couldn't expect easy peeling with fresh eggs, but I didn't know they had to be a whole week old to peel well. I buy store eggs and I have no idea when they were laid, so it's always guesswork. The last time I boiled eggs they were very hard to peel.

    The closest we got to optimum efficiency with egg-layers was the sex-link brown hens, which were good layers. Too bad they have such an unappealing name!

    I love to buy fresh eggs from any friends who have chickens, and I think the flavor of the yolk is richer, and the color is certainly a deeper orange. But that doesn't happen much anymore, and when I buy from the store I just get the least expensive I can find, which I know will be good for me even though they have white shells. Eggs are golden (actually white) nuggets of nutrition!

  3. Definitely hard boiled and poached! Thanks for the eggy info!

  4. I will try that for sure. I have tried all kinds of things but still have such a hard time with boiled eggs. I think your girls are just lovely girls. That made me laugh that your MIL left the brown eggs. I need to have my son and Meg come and take care of my girls who haven't laid this summer. It is time for a new batch of chicks in the spring.
    I love your chicken post by the way. To me store bought eggs stink. They smell like a dirty coop to me. I don't know why. There is no smell that I ever notice with my eggs. I liked all of your interesting information. I need to do a post about electrolytes for chickens. It has cured so many of my chickens this summer. Have you ever given your chickens them?

  5. Over easy! I used to buy a different breed each year so I could tell how old everyone was. I just liked experimenting, but we weren't too dependent on my egg supply. :)

  6. One of my neighbors started an egg co-op buying from a chicken farmer in east texas about once a month. There is definitely a consistency difference esp in the yolk, and they taste different, too, more flavor, which I had to get used to. I've been hard boiling some for lunch and like them over med or scrambled. I have been wanting to poach them which I haven't done in years and when I did I used an egg poacher which I don't have any more. I guess I need to figure out the easiest way to do that. Love your new header and really got a kick out of hearing about your mother in law leaving the brown eggs. I hope your family is doing well. Sure miss the Coffee Shoppe and catching up with everyone. FB and IG are fun, but not the same. Hugs from tx, Leslie

  7. Well, first of all, I had to look up the word pullet. ;-D Such an interesting post for us non-farm girls! I've never heard of steaming eggs -- I'll have to try it. I've heard of baking them in the oven, but haven't tried that way yet either.

    After having a hard time with almost every egg this past spring, I too, started searching for a better way. The method I found (also on pinterest LOL) was to bring the water to a boil and then put the eggs in for 10 minutes. Then run really cold water over them until they'd cooled a bit. It's been working so far!

  8. Haha - my husband told me this morning that he thinks he'll get some laying hens. I said - "Get some colourful ones - they're the best for pictures!" He answered - "But the white ones are the best layers!!" Guess he agrees with your mom-in-law!!


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