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To keep eggs… using beeswax and oats…without refrigeration…at Hillside Homestead

Its egg season for sure! As they days get longer and longer egg production goes up and up. Here is my egg production for the last several months

  • February=47 eggs, from about 15 laying hens
  • March=160 eggs
  • April=236 from about 11 hens. 2 hens were killed by the hawks and one hen has gone broody. Broody means she wants to be a mama, so she is sitting on a clutch of 11 eggs. She does not lay new eggs while sitting on a clutch and that is ok. Because she is dong a good job of trying to increase the flock size. Sunday evening May 19 is the first chance for the eggs to hatch.
  • May=130 eggs by may 18

I’m getting more eggs than I need right now. But I remember how I ran out of eggs in December and January and February. So I’m ‘putting up’ eggs for the lean times. by following these instructions from “The New Buckeye Cook Book” published in 1904

Instructions on how to keep/preserve eggs to winter time. From "The New Buckeye Cook Book" published in 1904

Instructions on how to keep/preserve eggs to winter time. From “The New Buckeye Cook Book” published in 1904

To do this I dip the eggs in bees wax and then store them in layers of oats. The oats act as a medium for storage. They keep the eggs safe from breaking and bumping into each other. I put up 28 eggs this way so far. And about a month ago I put about 4 dozen eggs using lard instead of beeswax. I do prefer the beeswax method. I plan to do more waxed eggs for the next 4-6 weeks.

Take a peek at the waxed eggs below. The wax closes up the pores on the shell and helps them last longer.

These eggs have been dipped in beeswax to help preserve them to leaner times.

These eggs have been dipped in beeswax to help preserve them to leaner times of winter

After the eggs have completely cooled and hardened they are packed into crocks of oats  Put a layer of oats on the bottom then add the eggs. The eggs should go in big end down. Repeat till the crock is full and then cover with a heavy cloth and string. Keep the crock down in the cellar. 

Eggs coated in bees wax stored big end down in a crock filled with oats. A common way to preserve eggs

Eggs coated in bees wax stored big end down in a crock filled with oats. A common way to preserve eggs

These eggs will be great for cakes and cookies and the such. They don’t suit too well for scrambled for fried. I first learned this method when I worked at Firestone Farm at Greenfield Village, which is part of The Henry Ford. And it works!

Maybe this winter we will have enough eggs to eat pound cake all winter!

Basket of Eggs

The fruits of their labor, eggs for eating and baking!

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10 Responses to “To keep eggs… using beeswax and oats…without refrigeration…at Hillside Homestead” Comments are currently closed.

  1. LuckyRobin says:

    I never knew you could do such a thing. We have so many eggs right now I was thinking of doing the ice cube tray eggs with salt thing and freezing them, but I would much rather preserve them whole like this. It’s amazing what those who came before figured out how to do.

    • It really does work. follow the instructions in the instructions I posted, especially the picture from the historic cook book. Of course this is not USDA approved, I must say that. but sometimes we know what is better for ourselves

  2. naturalpfg says:

    That’s amazing! I never knew you could do such a thing either? Can I repost this eggstraordinary article?

    • Yes Yes please feel free to re-post. I do have to say that this does not meet modern recommendations for storing eggs. But It will work. The egg will not be quite as nice in Dec and Jan, sometimes the shell gets brittle, sometimes the yolk looses some of it firmness. But it works. And those eggs are mighty fine for most purposes.

  3. naturalpfg says:

    Reblogged this on The Natural Poultry Farming Guide and commented:
    I think this is awesome! I’m going to have to try this with some of my girls eggs. I’ll let you know how I get on.

  4. Debbie says:

    I live in town and do not have chickens. But I do have a budget and use lots of eggs for bread making and cheap meals etc. Today,eggs can be a big expense when not on sale. So I looked into preserving some. Feb. 2013 I found a good sale on eggs and bought up about 6 dozen. I slathered them with lard and then put them (large side down)in a Styrofoam container with layers of rock salt (with no additives)(salt was in a big bag meant for water softening). We kept the box in our garage. Any time I have run out of eggs, I just run down to the box and get out what I need. I crack them into a cup first to check them. Last week I made a serious mistake on my grocery list and ran short 8 eggs for an important baking project. It has been 6 months, and the weather has warmed up quite a bit in the garage, but I pulled what I needed and started checking them. Every egg was still good! No odor, and (surprise) all the yolks were still perfect!

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