Lime Water "Chicken House" Sweet Pickles

deb baldwin


This recipe is for the best sweet pickle you ever ate. They have a completely different appearance.

The old timers called it "Chicken House Pickles". Hydrated lime is what I used. I use to get it at the feed store.

Hydrated lime was mixed as a white wash that was painted inside chicken houses, to refresh and destroy bugs. It was also called Lime Water Pickles.
I even used zucchini(peeled, seeded, and cut into thin chunks) and used a few drops of green food coloring.
I have also used watermelon rind.

These sweet pickles are a lot easier to make, than the "7 day" sweet pickles that 9 times out of 10 turned into shriveled looking pickles and had to be made into sweet relish.

★★★★★ 1 vote
approx 5 quarts
45 Min
Stove Top


7 lb
cucumbers, washed and sliced thin
zucchini, pealed, seeded & cut into thin chunks
2 c
hydrated lime (white)
2 gal
cold water


2 qt
white vinegar
10 1/2 c
3 Tbsp
salt (non iodized)
1 tsp
celery seed
1 tsp
whole cloves (or 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves)
1 tsp
mixed pickling spice
green food coloring

How to Make Lime Water "Chicken House" Sweet Pickles


  • 1In a large non metal container, add sliced cucumbers. (best to slice thin)
    Cover with the hydrated lime.
    Wonders of the new age... Pickling lime at Ace hardware (this is food grade hyd. lime)
    Add 2 gal cold water and let stand 24 hours.
    Drain, rinse well, several times with cold water.
    I halved this recipe and used my large crock pot ceramic insert. Juuuust enough room.
  • 2Cover with cold water and let stand for 3 hours.
    Drain well.
  • 3Mix together all the ingredients together, for the syrup. Add a few drops of green food coloring if you are using zucchini.
    Do not boil or heat.
    Pour over drained cukes and let stand over night.
  • 4In the morning, boil very gently for 45 minutes.
    Pack into jars while hot and seal.
    These are ready to eat.
    (I never water bathed these, so if you think they should, go ahead. I do not think it will change the texture of the sweet pickle)

Printable Recipe Card

About Lime Water "Chicken House" Sweet Pickles

Course/Dish: Vegetables
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: American