So you finally got some laying hens and the excitement of your morning omelet coming from your own back yard has been tarnished by the chaos of the eggs in your fridge. Which ones are old? Which ones are fresh? Which ones to use first? Sure, you can use the float method to check your eggs for their freshness every time you want that omelet, but honestly, who has the time to do that every morning when you are rushing to get ready for work?
I grew up on acreage and we had chickens for as long as I can recall. One of the lessons I took away from this was to always ALWAYS put a date on your eggs when you collect them! This is something I have never forgotten and one of the most important things I do before my eggs go in the fridge.
Sounds like my problem is solved, right? For a long time I would religiously date my eggs and then into cartons in the fridge they would go. But still there was chaos! I found myself spending valuable time opening carton after carton, looking through the dates and working out which eggs were the oldest and then removing eggs and resorting them into date order to try to keep them under control. And still sometimes I would find one or two eggs that I had somehow missed which were now getting rather old. This was time wasting madness and I needed a better system.
My next idea to keep things orderly was to number my egg cartons. This was the stepping stone which revolutionised my egg dilemma – and I have never looked back!
So now I have a system where I put the eggs I collect into the egg cartons IN NUMBER ORDER. I number them “C1”, “C2”, “C3”, etc for chicken eggs and “D1”, “D2”, “D3”, etc for duck eggs. Once a carton is full I move onto the next consecutive carton number and start filling that one. All of these egg cartons get stacked down the bottom of my fridge. When I use my eggs I move the carton with the oldest eggs onto an upper shelf in my fridge and then I know that this is the carton I need to take the eggs from. Once that carton is empty I move the carton with the next consecutive number onto the upper shelf and I start using these ones next as I know they will be the next oldest eggs.
Here is my method step-by-step style:
- Use a lead pencil to date the eggs with the date collected. This is done before they go into the fridge.
- Number your egg cartons. I use “C1”, “C2”, “C3”, etc for chicken eggs and “D1”, “D2”, “D3”, etc for duck eggs, however, if you only have chickens your cartons would just be numbered “1”, “2”, “3”, etc.
- Start by putting your eggs in carton “1” and once this is full move on to putting your eggs into carton “2”. Keep numbering cartons until you will reach a “balance point” where the eggs in carton “1” will have been used up and this carton is empty and ready to be put back and filled with the fresh laid eggs again.
- The carton with the oldest eggs moves onto an upper shelf and these are the eggs you use every day until the carton is empty before moving onto the carton with the next consecutive number. Say, for example, you are using the eggs from carton “2”. Once this carton is empty it is returned to the bottom shelf waiting to be refilled and you take carton “3” and move it to the upper shelf to start using the eggs from there.