Egg Care

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by colliemom, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. colliemom

    colliemom New Egg

    Sep 10, 2010
    Hello~I am new at this raising chickens. We just inherited 3 beautiful hens and are trying to raise them. I grew up on a farm, but have forgotten the just of raising chickens. The hens are laying eggs everyday! Not bad for a 2000 mile move for them.
    What my question is when picking eggs how do you clean them before storing them? It is obvious to me that they need to be cleaned. I want to do the right thing and not damage them in some way. Thank you for the help.
    I will be on frequently asking questions.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  2. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 19, 2009
    Washing removes the natural protective coating, the bloom, compromises how long the egg can be stored before going bad and can actually, theoretically, push germs into the porous surface of the egg, rather than removing them. Keep your nest boxes clean and there should be no need to wash the eggs prior to storage.
  3. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    Use a dry soft brush (old paint brush does good) to remove and big stuff and refrigerate as is. I give mine a quick rinse right before I use them.
  4. mamabigbird

    mamabigbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 11, 2010
    Vancouver Island, B.C.,
    Our climate is fairly mild except for a midsummer swelter, and I keep my eggs in the coop, unwashed for days at a time. I only bring them in when they start to pile up or if I run out in the house. They don't spoil out there. I wash them just before I use them if they are dirty(pooped on). Keeping the nest boxes clean helps and not letting the hens sleep in the nest boxes because they will poop in there and that gets on the eggs.
    I vote don't wash them until you use them.

    P.S. Welcome to BYC
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2010
  5. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I'm in the category of keeping the nest boxes clean, and I rarely (really rarely, maybe a couple per month) have to clean an egg. It takes a bit of time and energy to get the hens not to sleep in the nest boxes, but it is so worth it for clean eggs. Each Spring with new birds I go out after they have gone to roost and remove the birds who are in the nest boxes, putting them up on a roost. Some learn quicker than others.
  6. greenmulberry

    greenmulberry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2007
    We get so much rain in the summer the run turns to mud despite my best effort, and the chickens can sometimes get muddy feet on the eggs, or rarely poo. Those times, I wash the eggs with warm water and a brush, just washing them enough so they look clean. It grosses me out to look at the egg basket and see muddy eggs. [​IMG]

    The rest of the year the eggs are clean looking, and I do nothing.
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I keep the nestboxes clean - I'm a fanatic about it - and store the eggs unwashed. Wash them just before using in very warm water.
  8. colliemom

    colliemom New Egg

    Sep 10, 2010
    Thank You for the information. We have inherited these 3 chickens. They came over 2,000 miles from Florida. They are beautiful hens and laid eggs all the way during the move. They are more of a pet than a farm animal. They have the names of Tic Tac Toe. Go figure it was my sister that named them. We have 7 rough coated collies in our family. We raise, train and rescue collies. I have 3 cats in the house and 1 dropped off momma cat who had 4 beautiful kittens. I was so excited today it was the first time since momma was dropped off that she approached me so that I could pet her. I am hoping in time the kittens will follow. I am looking forward to more advice for Tic Tac Toe.
    I do have one very important question for them - How should we handle winter for them? We have a chicken coop and an heat light. They do not go outside in the winter do they? Like I said in my first post it has been many, many years since I have been around to raise chickens. Thank you again for the information.
  9. catterbug

    catterbug Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2010
    For winter care, I think you will be fine. Most people around here don't even heat the coop but they do have a light on (which doesn't provide heat-it's an LED) for about 14 hours a day to help them to keep laying. This will be our first winter with chicks so I am going by what I have been told. I guess some chickens still like to go outside in the winter. My friend throws corn down for them since they still love to scratch and find things in the snow.

    I just started getting eggs I don't wash them. 2 did look dirty so I just washed them right before I used them. You also do not have to refrigerate them as long as they have not been washed. The United States is one of the only countries that refrigerates eggs.
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I don't know where you are located, so it's hard to advise you on winter care. Our winters here in SW Arkansas are cold enough for me. I moved here from the NC mountains and I actually find the winters here to be worse, with more precipitation and overcast days. Here we get more ice than snow and the coldest it gets in the wintertime is usually in the teens.
    I only do a couple of things differently for my adult flock in the wintertime. I offer more scratch grains, since the choices for foraging are limited during the winter (my flock free ranges). I close the windows on their coop, but never close the ventilation ducts at the roofline. And that's about it. My adult flock is made up of a winter hardy breed (LF brahmas), so they don't require much care. They are out and about every day of the year, no matter the weather.
    I also have a juvenile flock comprised of a few different breeds; some winter hardy, some not. I don't intend to care for them any differently this winter than I do my adult flock. The only exception I plan to make is to put vaseline on the comb of my single-comb roosters whenever the weather is predicted to drop below freezing. There's another important reason I don't heat my coop. Get birds used to living in a nice warm coop and have the power go out and they can become chilled very quickly. Chilled birds can become sick birds very easily.
    I don't add light in the wintertime to keep the hens laying. I believe in giving them the break from laying that Mother Nature intended them to have. There are pros and cons to adding light to force laying. You should read up on the issue before making a decision to add light.
    Good luck to you. [​IMG]

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