Today let’s talk about water glassing eggs. If you have your own chickens you’ve probably had the experience of an over abundance of eggs at some point followed by hardly any eggs (especially during winter). You’ve probably wondered how you can effectively preserve your abundance of eggs! I’ve had chickens for about 7 years now. I started out with a small flock, then grew it to about 300 at one point when I had my egg business. I now have a smaller flock again. (See why I quit the egg business)
Through all this, I wished I had a way to preserve fresh eggs to use when my hens were not laying as much. This past fall and winter, I actually had to go buy eggs at the store. I had downsized my flock a lot last year, down to about 50 hens and they all quit laying in the fall! I had zero eggs from them for about 6 months which hadn’t happened before. Yes there’s the theory that the government did something to the feed or that some big feed companies were skimping on the nutrition. It did make me wonder, but I tried changing feed a few times and adding some supplements but nothing seemed to help.
The Egg Conspiracy of 2022?
Here’s the thing… I normally had been changing out my flock every year so that I never had hens over 1.5 years old. They produce best between 6 months to around 1.5 so for an egg business, you want to keep higher production rates which means you bring in new chicks each year and get rid of the older ones once the newer ones start laying.
I didn’t change out my hens last year so they were pretty much all about 2 years old or older going into the fall. Plus I had cut my flock way down and production has always dropped a lot during the winter even when using lights.
Anyway, long story short, once the days started getting longer and warmer all of a sudden my girls started laying like crazy again. Im still using the feed I normally use so I don’t buy the whole feed conspiracy (not saying it wasn’t a possibility).
Lets Preserve All Those Eggs!
Now that I’m getting a ton of eggs again, I’ve decided to try a different way of preserving them. I’ve used the freezer method, but it’s just not the same as fresh whole eggs. Freezing takes a lot more work and I don’t like taking up space in the freezer if I don’t need to, along with having to thaw them.
I had heard about water glassing eggs a few years ago but for some reason I just didn’t try it out until now. It’s very simple to do and you can just set them in the pantry when done along with the rest of your canned goods. Apparently the pickling lime seals up the egg shell even more, basically making each egg air tight and able to last 12-18 months without going bad.
I will give a disclaimer. This is the first time I’ve water glassed eggs so I will be sure to give an update in a couple months when I use the first ones and then I’ll update you again in the winter so you can see the quality after a few months of being in the pickling lime.
Ingredients For Water Glassing Eggs
Fresh, clean eggs. Clean from the nest, not washed!
The Process of Water Glassing Eggs in Pickling Lime
You’ll want to collect your eggs and only use the ones that are clean. Do not wash them! Do not use eggs that have been refrigerated!
If you wash them, you will wash off the natural coating that is already there. They just need to be clean as in no poop or dirt. My cleanest eggs I find are the ones from the hens that always get out of the pasture and lay in the hay barn lol. I collected the cleanest ones and saved them on the counter until I had enough to use for water glassing. The dirty eggs I just leave on the counter and wash and use for cooking right away or put them in the fridge if I might not use them within a couple weeks or so.
Take your 1/2 gallon mason jar and set it on a kitchen scale and zero it out. Add one ounce of pickling lime, then pour 1 quart (4 cups) of water into the mason jar and stir. It will not dissolve all the way but that’s ok.
Next, start adding the fresh, clean eggs pointy side down (as much as possible). I used some tongs to set each egg gently down in the jar. A large pickle jar with a wider mouth would make this even easier! I’m going to use one of those next time! I’ve heard of people even using a 5 gallon bucket to water glass lots of eggs.
I was able to fit 13 or 14 eggs in each 1/2 gallon mason jar. Once all your eggs are added, just screw on the lid and set in a cool dark area of your pantry. In a box on the floor is a great place.
Now That We’ve Saved the Eggs…
When you use the eggs, you can just take what you need from the jar or container and close it back up with the leftover eggs in it. I’ve read that you need to wash the eggs thoroughly before using them as to get all the pickling lime off of them.
I will post updates on how my eggs are doing starting in a couple months so you can see the quality as they sit longer. From what I’ve read, the eggs are supposed to look and taste just like when they are fresh. I’m curious to see how they do being hard boiled as well.
Have you ever water glassed eggs? What’s your experience and do you have any tips? Leave a comment below!