My chickens are finally laying again. I don’t know why these chickens stop almost completely and hardly lay anything from about September to March. We’ve never had chickens do this and even this didn’t do it til a year or so ago. They aren’t too old to lay; they’ve laid right through the winter months before but last year, they stopped and this year, they stopped again. So, instead of giving away all my extra eggs, I’m freeze drying most of them. I do share some but I can use freeze dried eggs in baking and for scrambled eggs – most anything except fried eggs.
Also, with everything I’m hearing about issues with poultry farms and processing plants, I’m not confident about our egg supply or our meat supply so I’m basically saving my eggs.
Freeze drying eggs is a pain because the freeze dryer slopes downward in the back in order for the water to drain out. When I put a tray of whipped eggs in there, and the tray slopes backwards, the eggs drain out and makes a mess and I lose half my eggs. I’ve been putting the trays in the freeze dryer, let them freeze, then take the trays out, turn them around and pour more eggs in there and let that freeze. It takes forever and I can’t get the trays as full as I should be able to get them.
Since I cleaned out the freezer a couple of weeks ago, I have a space where I can put the trays and freeze them in the freezer, then put them right into the freeze dryer that has already reached a freezing temp.
Someone had posted on a freeze dryer list about using the little “tables” that come in pizza boxes so we can stack the trays in the freezer. I ordered the tables and every time I use them, I’m so thankful for that tip!
It took several hours for the eggs to freeze enough to place them in the freeze dryer. By Friday sometime, the freeze dryer should be done. I’ll take the eggs out and by the time the freeze dryer defrosts, I’ll have the trays loaded with celery and freeze dry that.
As far as the eggs, I’m going to put some in jelly jars. A jelly jar holds about 5 eggs. I’ll put some in pints, which should be about 10 eggs and I’ll hopefully give about 24 jelly jars and 24 pint jars to Chad so if there’s an egg shortage, they will have eggs. I’ll also put about 5 into mylar bags so they an use those when camping.
Each tray holds 22 eggs so, even though I don’t measure or weigh the dried eggs, I know that if I divide each tray into fourths, that’s 5 or 6 eggs in each fourth of a tray.
If anyone looked at our compost bin, they’d think all we’re eating are eggs. Nope . . just cracked 88 eggs for the freeze dryer.