Down the road from their dairy farm in Deer Lake, Newfoundland, sits Pauline Duivenvoorden and Phil MacLean’s egg farm. The morning egg collection is over and the birds are clucking happily in the new barn.
Pauline is having fun learning how to egg farm, being one of only two egg farms on the west coast of the province. “We were really keen to learn something new,” said Pauline, who has been dairy farming with her husband since 1989 after the two moved to the province when she was offered the veterinary position for western Newfoundland. “My husband Phil and I are very interested in the area of food production,” she adds. “There was an opportunity to diversify.” A decommissioned mink farm down the road from their herd was the perfect place to build a new egg farm. They built the 200-by-40-foot-barn in 2016 to prepare for their first flock in 2017.
With a flock of 7,600 birds, the couple loves watching their very productive flock of Lohmann hens produce food for the province. “The privilege of being part of this system comes with the responsibility of providing a constant supply of food for the shelves,” says Pauline, who won Entrepreneur of the Year from the Newfoundland and Labrador organization of Women Entrepreneurs in 2015 for their dairy farm, Headline Holsteins. She takes her part in the local food supply very seriously and considered it a great honour to be recognized.
The couple’s second flock just moved in and they are settling into their nice and cosy “enriched housing system.” This chicken flock set-up is based on European space allowance per bird. It includes twice the space of conventional chicken housing and has a nest area, perches and scratch pads. Pauline likens it to swanky condo living in the city and says Barn Fine Eggs is a play on “darn fine” for the farm’s responsible and quality animal care space.
The flock is showing its appreciation by producing an average of 4,400 dozen eggs each week for the province’s population. “Eggs are an amazing package of protein,” says Pauline, who feeds the flock a corn and soya bean diet that is boosted with a nutrient pack of vitamins and minerals. “If you feed the birds exactly what they need, you’ll have a strong egg.”
Sprinkle a few grains of salt in bottom of the egg cooker. (Salt attracts microwave energy and will help to cook eggs evenly.) Break egg into egg cooker. Whisk egg with fork. (Or, whisk egg in small bowl, then pour into egg cooker) Place lid on cooker base, lining up notches. Twist to secure.
Place into microwave. Microwave on High (100% power) for 35 seconds, stirring halfway through cooking. Let stand for 20 seconds. Stir to scramble egg before removing from egg cooker.
Cooking times will vary depending on microwave oven cavity-size, wattage and desired consistency of yolk. Times provided are for a 1000-watt microwave oven. Increase time slightly for lower wattage; decrease for higher wattage. Start with shortest time and increase in 10 second intervals. Note the time that works best for your microwave oven.
Cooking times will vary if more than one egg is cooked at a time. Please refer to our recipes for using 2 Microwave Egg Cookers in 1 microwave, and for 2 eggs in 1 Microwave Egg Cooker.
Times given are for a large egg. The egg cooker works best with large eggs.
Lowering the power level to Medium High (70% power) or Medium (50% power) and increasing the cooking time slightly is also an option.
After each use, wash egg cooker thoroughly with hot soapy water; rinse and dry.
The egg cooker is safe to use in both dishwasher and microwave. Do NOT use in convection microwave oven set to convection mode.
When cooking eggs in the microwave, always use a microwave-safe container such as the egg cooker, and pierce yolk and white several times or whisk before cooking.
Never cook an egg in its shell in the microwave; it will explode.