Hi! I've been on BYC for some time now, but we're finally getting our eggs! It seems like we've been waiting forever and now the girls are stepping up to the plate and I have lots of silly questions. If anyone knows of a stickypost somewhere that explains the basics: please send the link, I appreciate it. Otherwise: here's the most pressing questions: 1. What is the basic collection and handling procedures for eggs? I assume that they are to be carefully washed as I've found plenty of chicken poop on some of them. Is there a preferred way to do this? For example, should I use anti-bac soap or bleach water? I've seen commercial egg wash at the store but that seems like overkill. However, I do want to be extra extra careful as I am pregnant. 2. How long do uncollected eggs 'keep' from spoiling? If I forget to collect eggs one day are the eggs collected the following day all safe to eat (as I won't be able to tell the difference between the recent and not so recently laid eggs)? I imagine this may vary depending on the outside temperature, is that a factor? 3. I am used to store bought eggs - what do I need to know in terms of the refrigerated shelf life of my new fresh eggs? 4. Anything else I should know? Any recommendations for anything to do with collecting and handling our precious new commodity would be so much appreciated! Thanks so much in advance!