What to do with your excess eggs?

Saving money

Written by: Christine Hamilton

My a writer and creator. I'm a small business owner creating books, e-books, templates, designs and more.

February 11, 2024

When it comes to self-sufficiency people think of vegetable gardens and having chickens. You buy 6 chickens and get about 4 eggs a day, some days more. Suddenly you are getting 1 to 2 dozen eggs per week. Then your friend moves house and gives you her 4 chickens and so it goes. Next thing you are looking at 4 dozen eggs in the fridge and you are asking yourself,  ‘What to do with your excess eggs?’

How to use your excess eggs?

You could-

  • Give them to friends and family
  • Swap them for produce from another self-sufficient person in the community
  • Donate to the local soup kitchen
  • Cook some savoury dishes
  • Create dessert dishes
  • Make snacks for the family
  • Boil them up and feed them back to the chickens with the scraps
  • Add them to your dog’s diet
  • Freeze them or preserve them
  • Use egg whites to clarify your stocks
  • If you have a rooster, incubate them and sell baby chickens
  • Beauty treatment – hair conditioner, egg white face mask
  • Drill a hole at each end, blow out contents and decorate the shell.
  • Add the shells back to the compost or create your garden fertiliser.

To sell eggs you need to check with your local authorities as there are different rules for different states or countries.  These rules are to protect the public from bad bacteria, salmonella, and rotten eggs.  Selling eggs without being registered can get you a fine or worse. 

How long will my excess eggs last?

In the refrigerator

Fresh eggs in the refrigerator should last for up to 6 weeks.  Some say don’t put eggs in the fridge, these people would be from the colder regions of the planet.  A fertile egg only needs a constant 37 degrees to grow into a chicken.  I know your chances of hatching a chicken on the benchtop are remote but in warmer areas the eggs will spoil faster. 

When you have a lot of eggs each day, write the date on the round end with a pencil.  Store them in the carton pointy end down.

Boiled in its shell

Eggs Boiled and in its shell, it lasts about a week in the fridge.  Write the date you cooked them on the shell with a pencil.

Boiled out of the shell

Boiled and out of its shell for about 5 days in the fridge.  So it would be better to boil your eggs as you need them.

With added ingredients

Mixed with other ingredients the usual food safety guidelines need to be considered.

Follow the directions on any supplements or medications you give your poultry.  There may be an egg withholding period as the chemical is in the egg.

 

How to spot a bad egg?

Egg shells are porous so they absorb bacteria from dirt and their environment.  Cracked eggs create an opening to allow more bacteria in.  Wipe minor dirt off eggs with a damp clean cloth as you collect them.   Don’t wash or completely wipe down the egg as the white powdery coating forms part of the shelf life protection.  When cooking, break your eggs into a cup or small dish to check it’s freshness before tipping into your cake batter or meal.  Nothing destroys a cooking season faster than breaking a bad egg into your dish.

 If an egg looks stained, dirty or dodgy don’t use it better to be safe than sorry.  What to look out for when checking for bad eggs – 

  • Cracked shells, can let in bacteria, faecal matter or dirt
  • Stained, very dirt or discoloured from the chicken faeces or other contaminants. 
  • The egg floats in a dish of cold water – to check how fresh an egg is put it in a dish of cold water if it sinks to the bottom it’s fine. If it floats at the surface, it is older and building up gas.
  • Crack the end onto a plate if the yolk is flat and the white is runny it is getting old – as the yolk and white break down with age.
  • Smells of sulphur – rotten egg gas
  • When cracked the white is cloudy, blood-stained or looks odd.  There may be a small speck of blood in a normal egg but if has discoloured the yolk it should be excluded.

 If unsure don’t use it.  They can contain salmonella bacteria which gives you food poisoning.

 If you find some eggs hidden under the junk in the back shed don’t try to use them. Throw them away as you don’t know how long they have been there.  Don’t try to eat eggs that have been under a clucky chook for a while either as they will be either part chicken or going off.

 

What other bird eggs are edible?

You may not just have an excess of chicken eggs, as other bird eggs are edible too.  Chickens and other birds lay at different times of the year round so the amount of eggs you have can vary.   With poultry that doesn’t lay often or doesn’t lay very many eggs, it’s probably better to incubate the eggs and have a meat option (or sell the chicks).

Don’t just run around the streets or bush grabbing eggs.  Know what animals they came from (snakes and reptiles lay eggs too) and how old they are.  Some eggs could belong to protected bird or animal species.  Collect your eggs from approved sources.

 

  • Duck – slightly bigger than chicken eggs and a bit richer in taste good for cake-making
  • Goose – about twice the size of a chicken egg and has a richer more gamey flavour.
  • Quail – smaller than a chicken egg, cream-coloured eggs with darker spots.
  • Turkey – similar to duck eggs but turkeys don’t lay very many eggs in a year so are usually incubated to make more turkeys.
  • Pheasant – slightly larger than chicken egg with a gamey taste.
  • Pigeon – about a quarter the size of chicken eggs and popular in Asian dishes
  • Guinea fowl – slightly smaller than chicken egg but not available all year round.
  • Emu – large black green egg weighing about a kilogram from an Australian native flightless bird. Being a native bird, it would be best not to run around harvesting their eggs unless you had a very good reason.  Not to mention the mothers are big, have claws and fight, not exactly a chicken.
  • Ostrich – the biggest flightless bird with eggs around 2 kilograms and very thick shells.

What recipes use your excess eggs?

 

What savoury foods can I make with eggs?

  • Plain eggs, fried, poached, scrambled, boiled in shell
  • Scrambled with added herbs, vegetables, bacon, chicken, cheese and more
  • Devilled eggs, souffle
  • Pancakes, pikelets, batter
  • Make pasta, egg noodles
  • Pasta carbonara
  • Omelette, quiche, egg and bacon tart, frittata
  • Scotch eggs
  • Binding for rissoles, meatloaf, crumbed steak/chicken
  • Fried egg in fried rice
  • Keto breads
  • Egg salad, egg sandwiches
  • Home-made mayonnaise
  • Fried egg on hamburger
  • Bubble and squeak
  • French toast, toad in a hole,
  • Explore some other country’s recipes for a change

 

What dessert foods can I make with eggs?

  • Cakes, sponges, angel food cake
  • Royal icing
  • Meringues, bombe Alaska, pavlova
  • Custard – pouring and baked
  • Crème Caramel, Crème Brulee
  • Chocolate mousse
  • Vanilla slice
  • Lemon Meringue, Lemon Curd
  • Curd of many flavours, blueberry, strawberry
  • Baked cheesecake
  • Home-made ice cream
  • Sweet souffle
  • Macaroons
  • Brownies
  • Banana bread, carrot cake
  • Egg nog drink
  • Puddings
  • Choux pastry
  • Bread and butter pudding

 

How do I feed them back to my animals?

Chickens

When I have excess eggs or my hens are moulting, I boil the eggs up and then smash them up shell and all and mix it with the leftovers.  Chickens love eggs, they will egg their own raw if they want to.  They eat them for the extra protein (interior) and calcium (shell) needed to make more eggs.  By smashing them up they look less like an egg to not give them ideas.  

Dogs

Crack a raw egg into their dinner.  It will improve their coat, skin and general health.

Summary

There are many options available to use up your excess eggs from giving the eggs away, preserving them or cooking something for yourself and your pets or giving them away to family and friends.  Cooking and feeding the eggs back to your chickens gives them protein and calcium.  If all else fails and you keep having too many eggs get rid of some chickens.  You only need about 4 chickens to keep you supplied with eggs most of the time.  Chickens need a flock to keep them happy so don’t go for 1 or 2 chickens.