please don't make fun of me for this dumb question about egg germs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gale65, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    As it says in my signature, I'm a germophobe. I have been for a while and have diagnosed anxiety and ocd. At this point it's been so long that I don't really know what is and isn't normal and safe when it comes to germs as I pretty much go overboard with some and am very lax with others. Getting chickens has been very hard for me but I am determined to give my kids the opportunities of having pets and animals and such. We do have livestock but they aren't really pets that we go out and see every day.

    So anyway, dh has been checking for eggs throughout the day when it's been below freezing since he's always out there working anyway. He uses his hands to pick up the eggs (obviously-I prefer he doesn't use his feet) which sometimes have smears on them of who knows what (probably poop sometimes), and then uses the same hand to open the door to bring the eggs in. Is that anything that you would worry about? Germs on the door handle? I have been cleaning the handles off but I have a feeling it's overkill and I am trying to at least get a little better since I don't think I would ever be completely normal. But I'm not sure if "normal" people would be cleaning the door handles every time or not. And I'm striving for at least a little bit of "normal."
  2. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    Don't be embarrassed! :) I am probably not the best person to answer your question, as I believe a little germs now and then are good for you. :p I don't clean any door handles, nor do I even wash the eggs. And I won't even mention how many times I've accidentally tracked poop into the house .. [​IMG] I am (knock on wood) never ill - I think it's because I am a nurse and have had to deal with every manner of germs you can think of for years and years.

    However, if it's a problem for you maybe you could put some of those hand sanitizer wipes out for hubby?
  3. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks. The thing is, I want to do what normal people do. My husband already gets a bit exasperated with me about this, although he never says so. I can just tell. If I keep hearing that other people don't worry about it and no one gets sick, then maybe I can get past it and not worry about it so much. I actually don't wash eggs either but not because I think they're clean enough but in my mind, washing them just makes the egg water splash around and the germs get on more things in the long run. I do wipe off smudges and stuff but if I'm cooking eggs myself, I just crack it where there's no smudge and make sure I cook it well.

    Lately I keep telling myself every time that I worry about germs here or there that we need *some* germs to be stronger. But then sometimes my ocd takes over.
  4. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I only wash poopy eggs . I have an air compressor that I use to blow my shoes off after I leave a coop & enter another coop. I always take my shoes off before I go into my house.
  5. cravenchx

    cravenchx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2011
    Piedmont of NC
    I only wash eggs that I sell to friends, I will wash MY eggs before using.
    I don't even put mine in the frig.
    I don't think you are out of line wanting your DH to use, at the least,
    hand santitizer before he opens the door. Can you put one right outside
    the door, and ask him to use it on the hand he opens the door with.
    Will give you some peace, maybe, and a nice compromise for him, maybe.
    I too am kinda a germophob, when I'm outside the home, but at home, they
    are OUR germs![​IMG]
    Look what I do for a living!
  6. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    We all have quirks. It is normal. So, your quirk is different than my quirk. Mine would probably get on your nerves (and your husbands) too.

    In my house, I gather eggs, and don't wash up after handling them. I wipe the dirty ones with a dry paper towel to remove anything that is caked on there. I have a belief that people who are exposed to germs have a stronger, better functioning, immune system than those who are constantly cleaning. I'm not knocking you, just telling you my belief.

    Now, to share my quirk. I am deathly afraid of cows. Yep, cows. I am surrounded by them. I have gotten to the point where I can walk through the cow pastures, but, if there is a cow anywhere close, I go the long way around. My fear of them stems from a traumatic experience in early childhood. I am trying to overcome this fear, but it is a very difficult thing to do. My husband laughs at me all the time because of my fear.

    I commend you for trying to overcome this so that your children can have pets!! Congratulations, and good luck!!!
  7. Kittyf

    Kittyf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good luck to you and commendations for recognizing and overcoming your compulsions - you are strong and brave.

    I do not wash the eggs as I have a fear of yucky stuff seeping through the shell - which is a perfect natural protection for the egg. I wipe them off if they need it, but usually they don't. Your trick of cracking where they are clean is a nifty one.

    If you are truly worried about the door handles, I think the sanitizer wipes like they have in supermarkets are a good thing.

    You are a good person to care about your children having experiences with the natural world and to care about your husband's reactions to your quirks. We all have them, and you are extra lucky to recognize yours and care about the ones you love.

    1 person likes this.
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Gale, for 70 + years I have been trying to find what is 'normal' human behavior. There is no such thing. Do what works for you - you are addressing your issues, and that indicates great courage. Bottom line, as featherz has indicated, exposure to germs at a certain level allows us to develop resistance. Your husband's handling of the eggs will cause no harm or danger to your family. [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  9. Mum

    Mum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 23, 2011
    I am neither diagnosed OCD or anxiety; nor do I believe I have either.

    I have read up on good "husbandry" ;) Good husbandry means being aware of and acting on good sanitation for both ourselves and our animals. So, for example, would you expect your dh to clean out a cat litter tray and not bother to wash his hands after? Would you expect your dh to wipe his bottom after a pooh and not wash his hands after? This is basic hygiene and nothing to do with anxiety/OCD ;)

    I have a porch between my garden (chook land) and my back door. I have a hand sanitiser dispenser on a shelf in the porch which I suggest my dh uses between his trips out with the girls and coming into our home (I also adhere to this). I see this as a pragmatic approach to "husbandry" not an issue of OCD/anxiety.

    Likewise, when I go out my back door, I use the hand sanitiser *before* I touch my chook things. Why would I risk passing anything I have to my girlies? Vice Versa!

    Caring for our animals is all about good hygiene, sanitation, awareness and action. While I do agree that to build up a resistance to *some* germs means being exposed to them, I disagree that being exposed to *all* germs builds a resistance ;) There is a balance to be found.

    Practise good husbandry and you and your flock stand a better chance of survival living and working together. :)
  10. SouthernBYChickens

    SouthernBYChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2011
    Gale - it was very good and comforting to read your post. I was officially diagnosed with OCD 20 years ago. Since then, I have battled every kind of germ known to mankind and tried numerous meds to help out. As I know this is not a health forum, I wanted you to know that others out there deal with and fully UNDERSTAND what you say when you say "germs". A person with true OCD does not use the word "germ" to mean the same type of "germ" as "normal" people. You probably think that since your husband touches the doorknob after working with the chickens contaminates the doorknob, therefore every time someone touches that doorknob, they spread the contamination to other places. Listen - I know what you mean and I feel for you. About 3 years ago, I was bound and determined to have some chickens regardless of the "germs" they bring for my pleasure and for my children to enjoy (which they do). I worried about the germs and still do to an extent because let's face it, keeping chickens can get pretty nasty, but it can only get intrusive to your enjoyment of them IF YOU LET IT. Long story short - your husband probably will get tired of your requests to "clean" his hands (I know my wife does), so just understand - people have kept chickens since the beginning of time ( I'm assuming ) and we really don't hear much about people getting sick from it. Someone would have to have a cut on their hands or eat the poop to really make them sick. Just use basic hygiene practices and you will be okay and have so much fun with your chickens and children. I know I have!!! Good Luck!!!

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