Cleaning Chicken Eggs
Out here in the country, life revolves a little differently than it does in the city. We put hard, long hours into making our homestead a self sufficient haven for our families. Homestead Hints will be a series following things that we’ve learned over the last several years on how to make our homestead living a little better. Welcome to the Little Homestead on the Prairie…
A few months ago after I wrote the post about how to build a chicken coop, and one of the questions I got emailed the most was about cleaning chicken eggs. When you are raising backyard chickens you will inevitably have some pretty messy eggs!
The easiest answer is that you don’t. That’s right. You may think it’s yucky but I don’t ever go through the process of cleaning chicken eggs until the very moment that I’m going to use them. I pull them out of the chicken coop and put them in a carton in the fridge. (UNLESS, they are super icky, in that case I’ll clean them up a bit and put them somewhere where I will use them right away.)
I’ve seen that some people to run the eggs under water, or soak them in water, or wash them off some how. Unless you are going to use them right now or if you are taking them to be sold, this should be a no-no.
Why don’t you want to wash eggs? Because of something called bloom. The bloom is an antibacterial layer that surrounds the egg. Think of it as a special protective coating on the egg. The bloom helps to keep any bacteria from getting into the egg and when you wash the egg, run it under water, or anything like that, you destroy the bloom and allow the possibility for bacteria to enter in your eggs. They eggs will also not last as long once you remove the bloom.
If you have to go through the process of cleaning chicken eggs, try to do some kind of abrasive dry clean first. Rub them with a dry towel or sponge and see if you can clean them off. If you have to use water, try and just spot wipe them. Take a damp towel and just clean off small areas that need to be cleaned, try not to wet the entire egg.
To prevent the eggs from getting dirty in the first place, make sure the nests have a good layer of sawdust or wood chips so the eggs don’t crack. Also, try and collect them more than once a day.
If you clean your eggs this way (the no-cleaning way!) you will prevent them from going bad too fast and keep them as sanitary as possible (even though it doesn’t seem like it!).