People are always asking me how the float test works in determining the freshness of an egg. To show how it works, I drew this simple diagram. Eggs that lay flat on the bottom are fresh. If the fat end is starting to stand up they are about a week old, and a few weeks old if they are standing on end. When doing this test, it is very possible you will see eggs floating somewhere between the standing on end and the floating above water stage. This just means the air-cell size is getting bigger in the egg. The bigger the air cell, the higher it will float, the older the egg will be. Another way to estimate the egg's age is to break it open and examine the contents. A fresh egg has a firm yolk standing high surrounded by an egg white with a cloudy firm appearance. As the egg ages, the egg white, or albumen, will becomes clear and watery and the yoke begins to flatten. The older the egg gets, the more likely it is the yolk will break when you crack open the shell. This happens because water moves from the albumen (egg white) to the yolk causing the yolk membrane to stretch and weaken. It eventually breaks. If you want still another way to test freshness, smell it! If it has a foul rotten-egg smell, it's bad! This smell results from the emission of hydrogen sulfide.
Meeting of the Ducks, 2016
Was walking down memory lane the other day thinking about my Muscovy ducks that use to range the farm. Muscovy are known by many as the quackless duck since the only noise they make is a raspy, airy sound. They are not quackers. On more than one occasion, I would notice how they gathered in groups of four facing each other in a square-like shape. Like that you would find on a vintage pecking hens paddle toy. Heads bobbing and tails wagging as if they were in a serious meeting or conversation. One particular "meeting" stands out in my memory. The meeting was one duck short. Three were in serious discussion as the fourth circled around trying to join the meeting. It was very obvious this duck was intentionally excluded from the talks and was not going to be allowed to join in. Would love to know what all that discussion was about! Found such a duck meeting between a group of Muscovy at a local park the other day...
A Mattingly - Owner and operator of Our Little Barnyard. Can't believe it's been over twenty years since I started living the farm dream! What an amazing and challenging journey it has been!
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