I tend to have romantic notions about things. I know they hardly ever work out like in my head, but at the beginning I am always convinced that everything will be straight out of a movie scene. So, when I got this cute basket over a year ago I was so excited to have such an “authentic” and “patinaed” item for gathering eggs. Sheezzz…
Look at it! It is super cute, but it wasn’t built for farm use…that is a decoration, not even a reproduction. When you find authentic antique farm equipment it is robust and made for work. I knew that, I just got really excited and romanticized the idea. In just a few weeks of my kids using it the chicken wire began to break free from the wire frame. No self-respecting grandma would have purchased such a flimsy thing to pick up her eggs!
It felt like admitting defeat, but I swung by the Farm store and got a real egg basket. This is what I love about buying farm grade items…there is no messing around here. Look at the dark green rubber coating. Mine does tip over pretty easily though. In the store I’ve inspected this version that has a wider base, but not a thick rubber coating. Depends on what you value most.
There is no place for grime or chicken fertilizer to hide. Unlike the innumerable hiding places on the decorator basket that constantly got chicken feathers and other ‘chicken gifts’ stuck in the tightly wound cracks. The same problem would have happened with a wicker basket (which was my first idealized vision, complete with little white tea towel inside to cradle the precious eggs).
Here’s the truth: Chickens produce a lot more gifts than just eggs, and you really want as much division between your ‘chicken coop stuff’ and your ‘living area/kitchen’ as possible. No tea towel, no wicker basket with tons of crevices and hiding places for grasshoppers, leaves or even more unpleasant things. I even leave my chicken shoes (especially shoes!) and coat in the garage and change into other shoes before walking into the laundry room. I hang the basket in the laundry room (that hat hasn’t been worn in years, but I probably should give it a wash and store it somewhere else).
Then I can wash my hands right there in the laundry room. I try to never set the basket down in the kitchen and just transfer the eggs to a bowl to await washing. I have a system for when the eggs are muddy or otherwise unclean, but the over-arching theme is to try to have a system that keeps things so clean that my husband never freaks out.
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