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Preserving Eggs with Hydrated Lime  RSS feed

 
Posts: 90
Location: SW Washington
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Eight years into raising ducks and chickens and I am done buying eggs from the grocery store during winter. It's such a ridiculous and unsustainable thing to do, I'm embarrassed to even admit to doing it. I would just go without, but the holiday baking! (last 4 years I've frozen eggs but I'd like to get away from that) My husband adores his daily eggs and I love them too but how silly to refuse to use artificial lighting myself and then accept some stranger doing it and PAYING them to do so as I continue to buy feed and care for my flock all winter, letting my gals rest but not the poor factory hens ( I buy cage free organic, but still..). We have a decent sized flock; 23 hens and 6 ducks currently (which fluctuates of course) and I've been selling excess in the spring, then buying eggs in winter. Crazy I know!
When we first got birds, the gal I got the ducks from told me she had tried waterglassing the eggs and "it doesn't work". Why oh why did that one comment stick with me all these years and I just accepted that storing eggs doesn't work. Wouldn't I consider that maybe she had done something wrong? Anyhoo, I'm fed up enough about the egg situation to try preserving and see what happens. I read up about using hydrated lime, watched some videos where they show the process and then 8 months later, the grand positive results (it's on YouTube, so must be true, ha).
I started a couple of months ago (and boy, are my regular customers kinda disgruntled about me not selling. People are weird.) and have quite the stash.
Anyone else doing this? The lime looks to have settled to the bottom, I'm hoping the liquid still has enough lime in it to preserve? What's your experience?
 
pollinator
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Location: North Carolina, USA Zone 7b
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I agree!   I hate that I bought summer squash yesterday because I got mine in too late - shame shame, haha!   I've no experience but saw the homesteading family video and am just now getting my egg volume up enough to try it.  So I'll compare notes with you as we progress :)   There is no way I have the patience to wait 8 months to taste the results so I think I'm going to layer the eggs with the oldest always on top so I can sample one each week as they age.   Maybe put the first two dozen in a mesh bag and slide new  ones under it and rob samples from the bag.
 
Sally Munoz
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[quote=Susan Pruitt]I agree!   I hate that I bought summer squash yesterday because I got mine in too late - shame shame, haha!  [/quote]

Right there with you. Oh well, it'll be abundant soon! :)
 
Susan Pruitt
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Location: North Carolina, USA Zone 7b
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Aug. 12, 2018:   Well I'm just now starting to save eggs.   It took me a while to acquire the lime and I only have 5 layers right now, one went broody and the other is getting old, and I use 3-6 every day for myself,  so pickin's have been slim.    I'll start taste testing in a month :)

I'm suspicious of lime at building supply stores - who knows how it's processed or additives for strength, whatever.    So I spent the extra bucks on Mrs. Wages pickling lime (Amazon) since my volume is small anyway.    

The recipe I'm following is  1 oz. Lime (dry weight) per 1 quart filtered water.   Storing in a glass jug in a dark pantry in the house.

UPDATE NOV 4, 2018:   First taste test at about 12 weeks - looks, smells, and tastes exactly like fresh - excellent!
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Do you have a root cellar, basement, or other cool location?  We haven't formally tested / tracked it, but our (fresh, unwashed) chicken eggs keep for months in our root cellar when it's cold.  We build up a supply in the fall, and they get us through winter without going bad.  Mother Earth News did some tests on keeping chicken eggs that you might find quite interesting:

https://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/how-to-store-fresh-eggs-zmaz77ndzgoe
 
Susan Pruitt
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I love this Youtube channel "The Townsends" who share 18th century methods of cooking and preserving foods

 
Sally Munoz
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We've been eating last summer's eggs all winter and they are delicious. The whites spread out and the yolks are definitely flatter but they are fine. I have them stored in the lime water in plastic buckets and tubs in the crawl space under our house. This morning's are from 5/28/18 so stored over 9 months, not bad.
Just for reference,  a 6 quart container fit 43 eggs (only one duck egg in there) with the water sufficiently covering them.
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Sally Munoz
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Jess Dee wrote:Do you have a root cellar, basement, or other cool location?  We haven't formally tested / tracked it, but our (fresh, unwashed) chicken eggs keep for months in our root cellar when it's cold.  We build up a supply in the fall, and they get us through winter without going bad.  Mother Earth News did some tests on keeping chicken eggs that you might find quite interesting:

https://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/how-to-store-fresh-eggs-zmaz77ndzgoe



That was a good article, thanks! I did wonder how much the temperature of my storage area might be influencing the preservation powers of the lime water on my eggs, since our crawl space is pretty cold. It was 26 outside when I last opened the access door and I could tell it was quite cold down there and the eggs felt refrigerated (which was the point of storing them there of course). However, they sat there all summer and we do see some triple digits once in awhile, definitely upper 90s quite a bit, so there's that.
I'm thinking this year I'll do the lime water thing again all summer but fall's eggs would probably be fine down there for a couple months with nothing done to them.
I'm consistently amazed at people's ignorance of how to tell if eggs are good or bad and how they worry they'll be bad past their expiration date "even if they look good".
For pity's sake, if an egg is bad, you will know it!
 
Jess Dee
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Sally Munoz wrote:
For pity's sake, if an egg is bad, you will know it!



Indeed!

I'm thinking of trying an experiment of my own this summer - I may put a few dozen marked eggs in the root cellar, and see how long they last.  I may repeat the experiment in the fall, and see how they last through the colder months.  The trick will be remembering to start the experiment - we get so distracted during planting and harvest!
 
Sally Munoz
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Jess Dee wrote:

Sally Munoz wrote:
For pity's sake, if an egg is bad, you will know it!



Indeed!

I'm thinking of trying an experiment of my own this summer - I may put a few dozen marked eggs in the root cellar, and see how long they last.  I may repeat the experiment in the fall, and see how they last through the colder months.  The trick will be remembering to start the experiment - we get so distracted during planting and harvest!



Great idea! I don't refrigerate my eggs and when there are a lot,  they can sit out quite awhile. The only ones I've had go real bad probably had tiny cracks in them,  usually they're just more runny. I appreciate you sharing your experiences here! :)
 
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