Coop to Kitchen - 5 Tips to Ensure Clean Eggs

| 5/14/2013 2:44:43 PM

Tags: backyard chickens, eggs, bloom, clean eggs, coops, Lisa - Fresh Eggs Daily Farm Girl,

 coop to kitchen 

The last step in a chicken's egg laying process involves the application of a thin, nearly invisible film on the surface of the eggshell called the 'bloom'. This bloom helps to keep air and bacteria from penetrating the eggshell, thereby ensuring the egg's freshness and edibility.

Washing the egg removes the bloom, so optimally you don't want to wash the eggs from your backyard flock unless absolutely necessary.  Once an egg is washed, it has to be refrigerated, but unwashed, an egg will last out on the counter at room temperature for several weeks, or refrigerated for several months, far longer than washed eggs.

Chicken coops and runs aren't necessarily the cleanest places and no one wants to be bringing eggs covered in poop, mud or even material from broken eggs into their kitchen, so how do you ensure that your eggs are clean when you collect them?  These five tips will help:

1.) Don't allow your hens to sleep in the nesting boxes. Roosts should always be positioned higher than the nesting boxes, since chickens will seek the highest perch on which to sleep.  Allow 8" of roost space per bird.  If hens persist in sleeping on the boxes, lift them out and place them on the roosts after dark to condition them to roost, or block off the boxes completely in the afternoon once all your hens have laid their eggs.

2.) Refresh the nesting box bedding each morning. As part of my morning chores, I fluff the straw in each nesting box and add more if necessary.

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