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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Urban Homesteading; Meat and eggs

Raising your own meat and eggs is harder to do in an urban/suburban setting. There are many little regulations you have to track down and follow to the letter.

The largest city closest to where I live, allows you to have 2 hens per yards. No roosters. Hens are quieter, yet people can still get upset if they see you with chickens. Many people think that hens are just as loud as roosters, and they smell.

The smell isn't too bad, as long as you clean the caged area and compost the waste. But what if you live in an apartment? There might be a way around some rules. Maybe, it depends on how you work your solution. Look into show birds. If you are allowed to have a bird or two as a pet, show chickens are your best bet. You can also get a certificate to show that your bird is indeed a pure bred show bird. If room is a problem, look into bantams, they are miniature versions of standard chickens. They are not good for meat, and it does take two bantam eggs to equal 1 standard chicken egg. It might not be worth the time and expense though. It depends on you and your preferences.Bantam egg size vs standard egg

Eggs in the grocery store can range in price, and eggs at the farm market, roadside stand and rural farmers, can cost more. If you are looking for eggs from organic happy hens, go the route of the farm markets and such. You can buy in bulk and save them by refrigeration. Do not wash your eggs before storing them. Place them in a storage bag, mark the date, and they will keep up to two months in this manner. Make sure to rotate your eggs, using the oldest first.

Remember there are deals to be made. Talk to an egg seller about bulk pricing, or bartering. This will save you money, if you can find what they {the farmers} need.

Good luck with which ever path you choose to get your eggs from. Remember to be courteous, and respectful when dealing with the farm merchant. The customer is always right is not something that goes over well outside of big cities. This is their property, their lively hood, they will bargain, barter with the welfare of their family and livestock in mind. Keep that in your thoughts, and things will go smoother. You might just make a new friend and a new contact, and that is one of the most important things and urban homesteader can do.

Everything You Wanted to know about Eggs, and Some Facts you didn't.


Marina said...

This is their property, their lively hood

I've never thought of our place as a lively 'hood...that's a great turn of phrase!

Lynn said...

Portland, Oregon is urban chicken capital of America. We have three hens, which is the limit without a permit; with a permit ($25/year), you can have up to a dozen. No roosters. One of our neighbors complains a little about the noise; sometimes a cat comes into the yard and scares the "girls" and they set up a ruckus early in the morning. But we just try to keep their tractor away from his bedroom window. Yes, we have a moveable pen, in fact, we're building an improved one right now--bright red! There is NOTHING like fresh eggs! My permaculturist friend is trying to get me to raise rabbits for meat, but we're just not there yet emotionally for one and for seconds we don't care for rabbit that much. Talk to me after Peak Oil and I'll probably think rabbit is delish!htt

Jessie said...

I never knew there were so many differences in eggs... Fascinating! All I knew for sure is that I like farm fresh eggs way more than the ones you get at the grocery store!

Phelan said...

Marina, what neighborhood is more livelier than a country lane? Of course those that don't live out in the boonies won't get it.

lynn, thanks for all that info. our "girls" are very quiet except for one. She likes the dramatic and makes sure we know that she is busy laying eggs for us. Rabbit isn't too bad, domestic is better than wild. We haven't brought ourselves to raise them for food yet. Though my husband thinks we should.

Jessie, yes there is lot's of things going on in the world of eggs. Farm eggs do taste a lot better than store. But some people will say differently. It can be an acquired taste.

wallray said...

Thank GOD im a country boy.

Sheryl said...

I too am an urban homesteader. My three chickens provide my family with all the fresh eggs we can use and enough to freeze for winter use. We crack the eggs and stir them up with a shake of salt and freeze them in an ice cube tray, then store them in a zipper bag. They work great for cooking, one cube to one egg. Please check out my website for more chicken info.

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