Friday, March 7, 2014

Egg Season is Here!

Few people know eggs have a season, and it is now!  Hens have taken a rest during the dark and cold time of year - what Eliot Coleman calls the Persephone season.  

 Persephone, daughter of Demeter was abducted by Hades.  Demeter and Hades struck a bargain that she would spend part of each year with her mother - spring to harvest - and part with her husband - winter. 

Coleman points out that crops can be maintained during this "Persephone season" in winter, but will not really grow with the low level of light.  

Spring hatch
Chickens are light loving animals - they rise early and roost for the night at dusk. They lay the most eggs in spring, the same time when wild birds lay eggs and hatch out young as well.  Why else does the Easter bunny have a basket of eggs?  After a real shortage all winter, the eggs become plentiful, and are a welcome sign of spring.

We keep hens over winter, so we maximize the natural egg season.  Ken sources whole grains so we can soak and sprout them for optimum nutrition for the birds, and later when we have pigs for the pigs as well.  Over the years he has grown tired of uneven egg production as a result of inconsistent ground feed quality.  He misses the old days when each local mill ground feed on a weekly basis and one never got rancid feed

With the sprouted grain our animals are healthier, calmer and consistently productive.  Higher quality feed means more nutrition for the hens and more nutrition and flavor in the eggs that they lay.  And people can tell the high quality of these eggs.  So, consider an omelet or quiche or custard to celebrate spring.  And with some Aracaunas in the flock you won't need to color your Easter eggs!

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