Chicken coop gumption January 25, 2013
I need more gumption, chicken coop gumption. I don’t want any more frozen eggs. Yesterday there were four frozen–four!
The fact is, I sometimes don’t get out to the coop enough, especially in winter. When it’s icy and cold, I need to go out more often to gather eggs, or they might freeze. I know this. But still, more often than not, I find myself inside by the fire, with a purring cat on my lap and a quilt on my feet … or, alternately, inside by the fire with a dulcimer on my lap and a purring cat on my feet.
It’s never as bad as all that when I do make myself go to the coop, even when it’s really bitter outside. For instance, wind chill put the temperatures at negative 10 degrees a few days ago here in West Virginia. (Durn, that’s cold!) But once I’m inside the coop, it’s fairly comfortable. We don’t make the mistake of heating the coop, but it’s obviously sheltered from the wind… and all those chicken bodies inside do a good job of making it tolerable.
So why don’t I have chicken coop gumption? Why do I let my eggs freeze, especially when we get fewer, anyway with the short days?
I wish I knew.
Actually, there’s nothing wrong with frozen eggs per se. They may not be good for hatching, of course, but for eating, it doesn’t hurt them to have been frozen. The problem is that when they freeze hard in their shells—as they may in this bitter weather—the shells may crack because the contents expand. But a crack in the shell can let in bacteria: not good! And sometimes the crack is so fine, you may not notice it, which can mean you’re risking eating contaminated eggs if you let them freeze. Not to mention, sometimes those hairline cracks can cause a leaky mess in the refrigerator as the eggs thaw.
So, when I put off gathering eggs, it only creates more work for me when I finally do go out, because then I have to candle the eggs to check for hairline cracks, before determining whether to keep them or not.
Maybe this is like dieting: you know it would be good for you, but you Just. Don’t. Do it.
What are your suggestions for getting the gumption up?