If you have rats, do you throw the eggs away?


12 Years
Jul 4, 2007
We just found out that we have rats and have started a serious control plan. I'm pretty sure they haven't been around too long, because now that they're here, they're a total pain.

I've been finding rat droppings in the nest boxes, and assume that the eggs are not fit to eat. There have been a few times when my husband and my work schedule has been crazy enough that we didn't collect the eggs and they sat out overnight. That will be happening no more. Even so, if the rats are walking around and leaving their droppings in the boxes, that means the litter is gross.

Now, we have been eating the eggs for a while, obviously, with no problems. And since I don't technically know when the rats came, it's very likely we've eaten a few eggs exposed to the rat situation. Still, I don't want to be stupid.

For those of you who've had rats, what do you do with your eggs?

Olive Hill

10 Years
Apr 19, 2009
I personally would not eat them and I would not feed them or their shells back to my flock. Rats are notorious carriers of disease, including salmonella. They've likely been around for quite some time, the population has just come to a point where you're noticing them. The old saying goes for every one you know is there, there are seven more you don't.


11 Years
Sep 7, 2008
Eggs are very well protected from pathogens as long as their shells are not broken or cracked. I would think the eggs would be fine. Just wash them off in soapy water and dry them well. Eggshells are somewhat porous, but there is a membrane inside the shell that also helps to protect them.

The first thing I'd do is get rid of the rats, and quit worrying about the eggs. Just one bite poison is safe if used correctly, and very effective. There are many posts on this site that will give you info on how to use it safely. Good luck!


9 Years
Sep 1, 2010
I wouldn't throw them away either, dip them in a weak solution of bleach and water, let dry and use.I know rats are filthy but as mentioned as long as the eggs are not cracked or have a hole in them, i'd clean them and eat 'em.
Of course that just my two cents.I'm no health expert, but i don't think one would get sick if you cleaned them good..


Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
May 14, 2008
North Phoenix
My Coop
My Coop
They are fine.

Get bait tubes and put Just One Bite in them. Keep them loaded and you'll keep the rats at bay.


9 Years
Oct 15, 2010
Z town NC
Here is my humble opinion. If you can handle rotten food, bird yucky stuff, ect..... I have been puked on, peed on and pooed on and I wash and all is better.....then washing should do it. And more like for everyone you see, kill, there is at lest 100.
We have a horse barn and where there is hay there are so many mice you can't count. I have a Jack Russel who thought she had to eat everyone she killed untill I let into the barn with me and turned on the light......They were everywhere, covering the floor, running into each other (EEEEWWWWW). Well she went into Russel mode and got so many in her mouth she got choked. She was lucky I loved her. I had to reach in her mouth and pull them out (DOUBLE EEEEEEWWWWW). She hasn't eaten one since. Now that she is 14 she can't see them. Now we are using poison and now I'm worried about my hens (when I get some) will eat poo from a mouse that has eaten poison. The coop will be 50 yards or so from the barn and I'm not planing on useing poison in the coop, only traps. I did think that the poison works faster than that. I do know that if your cat or dog eats one with poison the stomach (unless they eat a mass amount) they will be fine. Don't know about chickens. Not to throw another question into this thread.....but? Is that why you keep vit K on hand?


12 Years
May 8, 2007
Wild rats creep me out. I would take care of the rats, wash my hands after being in the coop and eat the eggs cooked, not raw. Your eggs may not have anything wrong with them and even if they did, cooking them would make them completely safe. Cook your eggs. Don't go to the coop, touch a lot of surfaces, then lick your fingers and you will be fine.

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