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Eggucation: Doubling down

I had a customer tell me she's gotten many double-yolks. She was so excited, and rightfully so: double-yolks are good luck! And, better yet, they are loaded with more of the great nutrition locked in your organically fed, free roamin' egg.

However, it is super rare to get a double-yolk from the grocery store. Why?

Because eggs in the store are "candled." This means they shine a light through them and if they see anything but the normal single yolk, the egg is discarded. It is considered an "imperfection" so if a double is seen during the candling process, it will never make it to you. If you live in Europe, your odds of getting a double-yolk in a grocery are vastly higher because they use brown eggs as the gold standard in groceries -- brown eggs are notoriously difficult to candle, so many producers don't bother. Remind me again -- why was it we Americans started demanding all our food be homogeneous? Maybe that was a mistake.

I don't candle my eggs. Why? Well, we're a one-woman, one-man show. (Though we are also often aided by one or more of our three kids).

I'd like to say I don't candle for some sort of philosophical reason. But here's the real reason:

Right now I'm sprouting seed for my hens -- that takes about 90 minutes of my day to rinse and prep their feed each day.

Morning chores for hens is about 60 minutes or more for one person (less when we work together) and includes scraping, sweeping and re-bedding the floor of the coop each morning, cleaning and replacing bedding in the nesting boxes, scrubbing out waterers and putting in clean, fresh water. That's every single day. I mix their feed. That means combining the sprouts of organic barley, wheat, corn, and peas with the dry oats and topping with sprinkles of organic fish meal and Icelandic kelp and a dusting of diatomaceous earth. I scoop it into bowls and place it in 8-10 different places around the yard and hang kibble for them in addition to spreading scratch. Did I mention this takes place EVERY morning? ;-) People think raising eggs is about the eggs, but collecting eggs is the shortest, most fun part of morning chores. Managing the hens' happiness is the largest part.

The geese need about 20 minutes in the morning since they need their paddle pool dumped and scrubbed, clean fresh water in their 5 gallon buckets, and fresh food soaking in a clean feed box.

The rescue pony, horse and donkey need about 30-45 minutes of care in the morning. They get their feet picked and their morning feed which is measuring out two (sometimes three) flavors of Triple Crown kibble and many supplements: hoof supplement, omega supplement, mineral supplement, and flaxseed. The trough will need topping up (or completely emptying and scrubbing out if it's a weekend). They get their Chaffhaye in a feed bucket and dry hay spread around the pasture. When the hoses aren't frozen, the equine feed buckets are washed out daily, otherwise they are wiped clean.

Add it up, that's between 3 hours and 3.5 hours of chores -- just for the morning.

Now add the evening chores of about 2 hours:

Repeat the horse process (except feet unless needed), repeat goose process, make sure hens are in the coop, wash out empty feeders, put clean, fresh water in the coop for night, collect eggs again, then take them home to dust them off, sort them, box them and put them in the fridge. You can imagine if our current farming chores take 5-6 hours every day, that candling each egg probably isn't in the cards for this small family farm.

But, our busy schedule and inability to candle means more of chance for you to get a double-yolk.

And if a double-yolk makes you happy, then we're happy!

NEXT BLOG: EGGUCATION: Weird, wild stuff, man! Take the egg anomoly quiz.

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