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


  1. In 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.
  2. Cover with cold water and let stand for 3 hours.
    Drain well.
  3. Mix 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.
  4. In the morning, boil very gently for 45 minutes.
    Pack into jars while hot and seal.
    Process in a water bath.
    Water Bath : pints @ 10 min..
    This makes 10 pints of zucchini pickles with a little left over which I put into a container and set in refrigerator.

    These are ready to eat.

Printable Recipe Card

About Lime Water "Chicken House" Sweet Pickles

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

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