There are so many benefits to owning backyard chickens. For many the biggest benefit is having access to fresh eggs. If you have backyard chickens you are well aware that springtime brings an over abundance of eggs. Your hens will naturally start laying more eggs in order to raise a new clutch of chicks. Most hens won’t actually follow through with their instincts and hatch their new eggs. This means that it is up to you to go out to your coop and collect the extra eggs every day. After a few days you may find yourself with more eggs than you know what to do with. This list will give you a few great ideas on how to use these extra eggs so they don’t go to waste.
Hatch Fertile Eggs
If some of your extra eggs are fertile, than you may want to hatch them out. You can add this new group of chicks to your backyard flock. Before adding any chickens to your backyard flock, you may want to double check with city ordinances to make sure you are still in compliance. If your flock has reached its limits, it may still prove useful to hatch the chicks. You can sell the baby chicks in the springtime. There are many people who want to start raising their own backyard chickens. I have even seen fertile eggs sold or donated to classrooms to let children watch the hatching process.
Sell for a Profit
If you don’t have time, money, or room to hatch your extra eggs you can sell them for profit. There are lots of options to sell your eggs. If you plan on selling them at a farmers market you will need to do a little research. Applications to be a vendor for farmers markets are often due a few months in advance. There will most likely also be a vendor fee due upfront. You may also want to check and see if the local farmers market requires you to have a business licence to sell eggs.
Barter or Trade
If you decided that selling your eggs for profit is not for you, you could always trade or barter away your eggs. Offer friends, family, and neighbors extra eggs in exchange for other goods or services. This could include babysitting, haircuts, small home maintenance projects, or other homemade products. Although this may not be a lucrative as cash, you can still put those extra eggs to good use. Plenty of people are anxious and happy to have fresh eggs in their home.
Find New Ways to Eat Your Eggs
The most obvious solution to having extra eggs is to eat them. You can incorporate eggs into almost any meal. There is an endless list of ways to cook eggs. Try making scrambled eggs, fried eggs, hard boiled eggs, or poached eggs for breakfast. You can use your hard boiled eggs for egg salad, sandwiches, or as salad toppings for lunch. Quiche pies are a trendy and delicious brunch option. Don’t forget about the many desserts that rely on fresh eggs! You can make rice pudding, custard, meringue, or even souffles with your extra eggs. The possibilities are endless and you will have no shortage of eggs to consume for the next few months. Don’t be afraid to branch out of your comfort zone and try new recipes.
Recycle the Extra Eggs
If you have cycled through the list above and STILL have more eggs than you know what to do with, you can always recycle the extra eggs. Eggs can be scrambled and fed to your pets or even backyard chickens. While you may be horrified at feeding your chickens their own eggs, it isn’t as barbaric as you may think. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and very beneficial for laying hens. Don’t forget that egg shells are rich in calcium and can be added to your compost.
Don’t get overwhelmed at the number of eggs you have coming in this spring. Instead, make a plan of how to use these extra eggs wisely. You can hatch, sell, barter, eat or recycle your eggs to get the most use out of them. Before you know it, your hens will slow down their laying and you will be wishing for the days of extra eggs.