I've mentioned before that we have a free-range flock of hens, and wow, do the dogs love fresh scrambled eggs! I took this photo on a recent evening, just before getting ready to scramble up the 109 -- yes, I counted 'em up as I washed them -- eggs you see on the counter.
(In the background: the blender is what we use for Travis's food; the food processor is for the veggies we chop up for them; the toaster is for us; and the coffee maker is for Widget, who prefers either Colombian or Ethiopian, but occasionally will enjoy a stiff cup of Sumatran. Just kidding.)
As you can imagine, it takes a while to wash, break open, mix and then cook that many eggs, but watching the dogs relish them makes it well worth the time. Our biggest problem is just finding big enough bowls to mix them up in and pans to cook them in. Sometimes we use two large frying pans, other times I use a big stock pot. Here's just that one colander worth of eggs, ready to be beaten:
Here's a view of the portable "eggmobile" from this past fall:
It's built on an old trailer chassis and is on tires, so we can hook it up to the tractor and pull it wherever we want to take it. In Montana we used to move it around the pastures every week following the cows as we rotationally grazed them -- the chickens break open the cow pies to get at the fly larvae and other bugs they like to eat, and in the process they scatter the cow dung and work it into the soil for us. Here at the farm in New Hampshire we don't have that kind of level ground, and the predator pressure is actually greater here (because we have the woods all around us), so for now we found it's better to leave the eggmobile in this one large, safely fenced paddock.
Our hens are Delawares and Barred Plymouth Rocks, both heritage breeds and very nice birds. Currently we have about 30 girls -- the Delawares are older and starting to slow down egg production, and the Barred Rocks are in their first year of laying and starting to really get into the swing of things. We get on average 20 to 22 eggs a day right now, which will go up further when we get to spring. We have one Barred Rock rooster with the hens, because we want to be able to hatch out our own chicks this summer.
Now, someone will inevitably ask about cholestrol issues in feeding eggs. Dogs do not have cholesterol problems like people do. And in fact, eggs have been unfairly blamed for cholesterol issues in people anyway. For an excellent book on how eating healthy "real food" -- like free-range, pasture-based eggs -- is good for you, see Nina Planck's "Real Food: What To Eat and Why."
Meanwhile, I have to head to the kitchen. I have some eggs to wash.
The new Shelter Challenge started Monday, January 9 and ends at midnight on March 18. Grand prize in this round is $5,000, plus $1,000 for weekly winners and $1,000 for state winners. There are also other categories ... please see the Shelter Challenge website for details.
*** Okay, this is important, folks: We are now LISTED UNDER OUR NEW NAME, ROLLING DOG FARM. State is still NH for New Hampshire. ***
Please remember, you can vote every day ... consider bookmarking the voting page to make it easy.
We won $1,000 as a weekly winner in the last contest, and thousands more in the previous contests. The Shelter Challenge really does bring in a lot of money for the animals here!
Beginning on Monday, you can vote in the Shelter Challenge here.