Farm fresh eggs come with a caveat, they are hard to peel. The easiest way to have hard-boiled eggs that are not shredded or mashed (unless you want them that way) is to leave them in the refrigerator for 2 weeks before boiling. Eggs that are safely refrigerated can last fresh 4 weeks or more. If you want deviled eggs the day they were laid however, there is a technique to avoid shredded and mashed hard-boiled eggs.
1) Boil water sufficient to cover the eggs in a pot they can move around in. For one dozen that would be 2 quarts of water in a 4 quart pot.
2) Once the water is at a rolling boil, place the eggs gently on the bottom of the pan with a slotted spoon. Be careful to avoid dropping them in to the water or letting them hit the bottom of the pan hard enough to crack.
3) Continue boiling for 15 minutes.
4) Remove from heat and drain water (which will be scalding so please, please, please be careful with it).
5 Fill pot with very cold tap water. If your tap water comes out lukewarm add ice to it to make it very cold.
6) Leave the eggs in the cold water until the heat is withdrawn from them. The water should be room temperature or only slightly warm.
7) Break egg and peel. The egg should be neither warm nor cool. It should be comfortable for your hands to peel.
8) Be there as you peel.
9) If you drift away to the future, come back to peeling the egg.
10) If you drift away to the past, come back to peeling the egg.
11) If irritation arises, come back to peeling the egg.
12) Whatever arises, let it go and just peel the egg without any internal speaking.
13) This is your food and your nourishment. It came by way of healthy hens doing what they love to do. It came by a way of a beautiful roo. There is a cycle nourishing everything: mind actions, physical actions and verbal actions too.
14) There is a membrane that protects the egg and it can be tough to break but not impossible.
Easy. Of course not all eggs cooperate. Out of the dozen fresh eggs collected today, one looks rough and two wouldn’t release the yolk when I sliced them to make deviled eggs. I ate those
Commercial eggs in the U.S. are washed and therefore must be refrigerated. I don’t wash the eggs from my hens. I keep their bedding clean and dry when possible and the eggs are clean when collected. Even though the eggs are still protected and can be safely stored at room temperature, I refrigerate them.
There will be a small circle visible on the yolk when you crack open a fresh egg. It is similar to a bull’s eye. This shows the egg is fertile and under proper conditions would have developed and hatched. My hens go broody and build nests and hatch chicks. Last year a Buff Orpington hen hatched 18 chicks and raised each one of them until they were 7 weeks old at which time she was emaciated and needed to recover so she sent her chicks packing. One day she pecked at them all and fussed and a couple of days later they all went their separate ways.
It is important for me that a good rooster be present in a flock of hens though I don’t believe in old folk tales about flocks of hens without a roo. Hens do fine without a rooster. I think it is important as someone who can theoretically have a rooster, to have one… allowing this small gesture to a rooster. Most male chicks hatched in hatcheries are killed. The roos hatched here have shorter lives than the hens. I do not cull hens from the flock. They are here until they die. Roosters can’t be self-sustaining that way. Tiny Forest eggs are all fertile and if you have a mind to, you can also incubate them.
The hatch rate for the hens is very high but once eggs are refrigerated, and transported, the rate decreases. If you would like eggs specifically for hatching, please let me know. I gather them and store them differently for hatching. I keep a barnyard assortment and eggs will be mixed egg laying breeds.