For those of you with enough hens to get significantly more eggs than you can eat, how do you keep your eggs organized so you don't have eggs hanging around far too long while new eggs are being consumed? It can get tough to keep track. Thus far we're numbering the egg cartons but that is not ideal so I'm looking for ideas. Right now we're getting 18 eggs on most days from 25 hens.
We (by which I really mean the kids) will eventually start selling the excess eggs, but even then we want to make sure it's the oldest eggs going out first.
I don't have quite a smany eggs as you as I only have 6 laying hens! But I like my egg helter-skelter (https://www.amazon.co.uk/AllRight-Chrome-Storage-Helter-Skelter/dp/B01BIPM7WE)- though mine is taller than this example. You have way more eggs, but would a larger diy model suit?
Oldest eggs are always at the bottom! I sell a few half dozen eggs a week- so just take them from the bottom to fill the egg cartons as they are sold. Any in cartons are always stacked with the oldest at the bottom- so when we sell- sell the bottom carton first.
My helter skelter is nowhere near sized right for my eggs- mine are all far too large and you have to manually move them down the rails.
We just put egg cartons in the fridge with the partially filled one in front or on top. Once it's full we add another carton to start filling.
Any eggs with poop on them we keep in a separate carton for our use. If the girls are too clean we take our eggs from the newest carton so they are easy to replace. Ideally we'd take them from the back carton but then it's hard to get to and hard to replace.
We only have 12 layers (soon to be 20) so we sell cartons before too many pile up.
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I have been rotating between a few stacks in the fridge for week 1 to 3 in age. I keep a basket on the counter for our use. It also helps when I want a batch of deviled eggs to swipe a carton of older ones for easier (supposedly) peeling.
Typically in October or November, the amount we get suddenly drops off so will soon start stockpiling between the fridge and freezer packs for our winter use.
Mostly I use 2 large bowls. New eggs are put in one bowl while eggs are used out of the OTHER bowl. This means I always have one bowl full of newer eggs and one bowl full of older eggs.
And, when the eggs build up too much then I make a point to use them. My family likes deviled eggs and engelfood cake, and in a pinch eggs can be mashed into a skillet, bakes shells and all, and the resultant large egg patty fed back to the chickens. I do not believe that 16% protein layer pellets have enough protein, so I either throw them some cat food once in a while of feed a few eggs back.
Before I sent to using 2 large bowls I set the eggs from left to right, so the newer eggs would be to the right and the older eggs to the left.
By the way, if you steam the eggs instead of boiling them they are MUCH easier to peel
We have some of these flat egg carton things and they work really well to organize our eggs in.
(Those aren't my eggs, but just a picture I found of the egg flats in use)
We add eggs in the same order one reads in English: top(back) to bottom (front), left to right. Once a flat fills up, we start another, also having that go in the same order. If we have less than a flat of eggs at a time, I generally shift all the eggs every day, so that the oldest egg is in the "1" position, rather than there being a big gap from the eggs we took. Once a flat fills up, we put the new flat on top and start loading it up, making sure to take our eggs from the BOTTOM flat when we sell/eat them.
There's been a few times that we've had more than 2 flats full of eggs . At that point, usually the newest eggs are on the top, with the oldest eggs below them, then the next oldest eggs below them, and the next oldest below them. Once the "newest" egg flat is full, it goes to the bottom of the pile, and a new flat is started. I find these flats really useful for organizeing the eggs, as they stack well and I can tell which eggs are which really easily.
As for where I store them, they get stored in our garage, unwashed. We've found that unwashed duck eggs will last months at 50-65 degree F tempuratures.
If I have some eggs that are dirtier than others, I'll eat those first, regardless of whether or not they're the oldest. I figure the poopy ones will degrade faster. Since I have duck eggs and we sell them generally unwashed, I usually will pull out and fill a egg carton with the cleanest eggs as I get them, and once that carton is full, we sell it.
Regardless the way you organize eggs, it's advisible always keep them with the larger end up, the same position they are stored at the supermarket.
The reason for that is because eggs have a tiny air chamber at the larger end. If the eggs are stored with that air chamber downside, it will force the whole egg, making it get spoiled faster.
We also use egg flats, which I've found to be much more manageable than cartons. Once one flat is filled, another is placed on top. Regardless of how many flats are stacked, the one on the bottom is always the oldest. So we'll remove the bottom flat, set it on the counter next to the stove, and eat from it. When that one's empty, repeat.
We eat enough eggs that we don't worry about the order of individual eggs in the flat. They'll all be used within a couple days, typically, so exact age is unimportant.
When we sell excess eggs, we'll work in reverse and draw from the top flat down, so we're always selling the best.
I put the eggs in a carton and date it on the end with today's date. Tomorrow's eggs will finish filling the carton and the next carton started has tomorrow's date. etc. We get about 3 dozen a day. I also separate cartons by color of egg (white and brown) as I have some customers who only want white eggs??? I also use brown egg cartons for brown eggs and blue or green cartons for white eggs.I know at a glance the date the eggs were laid and what color they are.
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