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When Timothy Masters got his first chickens a decade ago, it was easy. He lives "way out in the country" in Pennsylvania, away from city regulations to keep chickens in the backyard. He built a chicken coop and got three hens to give him and his wife eggs. "It was the perfect number for us," he says.
That's when the catalogs began to arrive.
"I started getting these chicken catalogs, and they wanted to show these pictures of lovely chickens of any size and color, say masters. He wanted him to have one of each. It wasn't long before his reasonable bunch Three had ballooned to 23, not an uncommon phenomenon among chickens.
Historically, most people who had chickens did so for the purpose of selling eggs. Today many backyard chickens think less about the acquisition of chicken chickens or the cost for feed and a coop. For these owners, the birds become partially animal and part collection – you just have to have them all – that come with predictable consequences: "We were just overwhelmed with eggs," says Masters.
Then he remembered cooking right down By the end of the year when the pawnshop gave him a receipt to write off his donations, he was shocked to find that he had given away 400 dozen eggs.
While selling eggs from a backyard flocks, have long been an additional source of income, today's chickens often have nothing in mind when ordering their spring chicks. Many just want enough eggs for their family and open up and give the rest away to neighbors or friends. More and more people – seduced by the same brother's catalogs as Masters or photos of spectacular chickens on Instagram – get chickens just to get more chickens. The eggs are a bonus. That is, until people run out of ways to get rid of.
Chicken bulletin boards are full of people asking whether they can legally donate eggs or whether they can be sued if there is a food security problem. Although laws vary from state to country, while all food pantry, house and soup kitchens have their own list of foods accepted for donation, many hunger relief programs are happy to receive farm-fresh eggs and give them eggs for their patrons . Thanks to the good Samaritan food contribution law of 1996, as long as goods are donated in good faith and without prior knowledge that the food can make anyone ill, donors cannot be held responsible.
"Those neighbors run when they see I come down the road with a box of boxes," says Jo-Ann Monconduit, who lives in New Orleans. While she, her husband and their three dogs love eggs, her flock of six produces more than the family can handle. Local madpanties she called did not want backyard products (some pantries require farmers to have certification or commercial classification and laundry facilities), but she discovered a local nonprofit day care and volunteer fire station happy to get free egg deliveries.  "People just love the eggs and they taste so good," she says. Monconduit's flock stores white, brown and blue eggs that can make them separate from purchased eggs even before the shells are cracked.
"Other than organic, backyard eggs are one of my favorite things that people donate," says Shirley Moss, volunteer manager at Port Townsend Food Bank in Washington State. "It is then superior to a normal egg," she adds, referring to the conventionally produced variety they may obtain from U.S. Pat. Department of Agriculture. "The egg yolks are firm and bright."
"I have customers asking for fresh eggs," says Jennifer Thatcher at the Hunger Prevention Council of Pierce County, Wis. Three or four farmers regularly donate eggs to the treasury "although it depends on how well chickens lie," she says. The panther requires that the eggs are clean and have the date they were "picked" clearly shown.
Pantries have no time or resources to do societal outreach and ask people to bring extra eggs. In Austin, Texas, eggs from rear-chickens are not a commonly donated item on Hope Food Pantry. "What is common is people's good intentions," said CEO Stephanie Humphreys. Many people express interest in donating eggs, so never do or descend after a few dozen. All people have to do is bring them in, says Humphreys. "We even wanted to deliver the egg cartons if it was something they didn't have." Many pantries collect egg cartons – as they buy commercial eggs on large pallets and not in easily distributed dozen or half dozen containers.
While some people come to the food bank don't care what type of eggs they have come again, others will ask if there are any organic eggs in stock. "Even though people get free food, they are still special – especially parents," says Moss.
"I had often heard people talk about how homemade eggs are so much better flavor than large eggs, but I never thought much about it," says Masters who had not eaten eggs that did not come from their own flock. for a decade. "One day I ate breakfast in a restaurant and had their eggs. They tasted like plastic."
Masters, like so many, have been enchanted by chickens and overrun with eggs that are simply too delicious not to give away.  Tove Danovich is a journalist based in Portland, Ore .