Monday, March 29, 2021

storing eggs long term

 We've been keeping a flock of laying hens for a few years now, and are used to the annual up and down cycle of egg production. In late fall, as molting happens, and as hours of daylight lessen, we get fewer eggs. And since some of the hens are getting on in years, the falloff can be rather dramatic. 

Today, late March, they are back in good production, and laying more eggs than the two of us can eat. In the past, we would sell or barter some, but that has been more random this year, so I started thinking about ways to store and even out our egg supply through the year. 

I remember reading about pioneers heading out across the plains with eggs in barrels full of lard or waterglass ( sodium silicate), but both those ideas sounded rather messy and uncertain.

I searched various homesteading and prepping websites, and settled on using pickling lime ( calcium hydroxide) solution. Eggs need to be unwashed and fresh from the hens, and clean. The source I used says use a ratio of an ounce of pickling lime to a quart of water, and make sure eggs are fully submerged.

I have no idea by what mechanism this is supposed to work, so this is definitely an experiment.

While the solubility in water is not that great, it does enough that the resulting solution has a pH of over 12. We will store away a few dozen now, and try them out next winter, to see how well this works. I'll do a post then to report how well the technique works.

Here is the solution right after mixing and pouring over the eggs:

And here is the solution after much has settled out:


  1. Hi Steve,

    Well done, and I'm seriously curious to see how the experiment plays out. We get the drop off in egg production as well in autumn, and they only come back maybe a month or two after the winter solstice.

    Hey, last week I was finally able to get some new birds from the breeders at a nearby poultry club sale. Got three eggs today.


    Chris - Fernglade Farm

    1. Chris; one thing has occurred to me since posting this- even if the eggs are fine, getting them out without breakage might be a dicey thing. It was tricky enough putting them in the jar.