sanitizing eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HeatherLynn, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    Ok so I went to a homeschool thing at the museum today and they had a comment on how much water it takes to get one egg. The answer was 120 gallons of water btw. So I asked about it and they had no answer on how they got that figure. She assumed though that it was from the large amounts of water needed to clean and sanitize the eggs. So of course I was like, ahhh ok large industry egg production only. So of course that got us on the topic of eggs and why I asked. So that brought up chickens in the backyard. Anywho I said really you don't need to wash eggs that much. If the boxes and coop are kept clean then the eggs will be too. of course she was like " oh my god you don't wash them." me being me said " nope, not until I am ready to use and then mine just need a gentle wiping down before I use them. I only have one chicken who is a miss piggy and lays hers in any mud puddle she can find. Generally her eggs go back to feeding the chickens or the dogs anyway." She seemed really doubtful that this was safer than the sanitizing that the commercial eggs go through. So here is the question. How do you guys treat your eggs.

    I dry wipe my down if there is something on them but I do not really wash mine. Honestly they are pretty dang clean. The girls are good about laying in the boxes for the most part. Do you guys sanitize? If so how do you do this and what is the benefit?
  2. BlacksheepCardigans

    BlacksheepCardigans Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 11, 2010
    Southeast NH
    I have a couple of answers - the first is that number is from the USGS and refers to the total water needed to produce the egg, not the total water needed to wash the egg. It counts the amount needed to raise the hen, wash out the facilities, wash the trucks, etc. When production facilities wash eggs they basically spray them and rinse them; it's not a huge amount. My guess, based on doing similar calculations in college, is that USGS looks at the total gallons used by the commercial facility for a year and then divides by the number of eggs that leave the parking lot. They may even be taking into account the water used to truck/transport the eggs, which would bump the figure even higher.

    Second, you can wash or not as you like. If you wash, wash with hot water or hot egg solution. It would be very, very difficult to give an accurate answer to whether home-laid eggs are safer than washed commercial eggs; there are too many variables. But it honestly doesn't matter as long as you're cooking the eggs to a solid state.
  3. Falcon61

    Falcon61 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Maybe their figuring in water in the radiator of the tractor and truck that grow the corn, rain, train etc. or maybe their setting up their faulse figures to tax you for being alive?
  4. emarble

    emarble Chillin' With My Peeps

    Never have sanitizied my eggs! Grew up on a farm and my parents never sanitizied eggs either that was 58 years ago! My girls are very clean about it and my nest boxes are kept clean (FYI They have never Pooped in a nest box) and believe me I don't wash thier little butts either! I probably feel that most commercial operations are not as clean as my coop and run though! I clean nest boxes regulary and keep fresh woodchips in them and in my coop and I till the soil in the run to keep the poop mixed in and returing to earth (I have a tiller attachment for my gas weedeater Used it in the garden and thought why not in the run. Takes about 10 minutes a month is all)

  5. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    Ok, so I was not giving out bad information. Good. I had never heard of sanitizing them. We always got our eggs from an older lady who sold eggs for bingo money. So I have been eating unsanitized farm eggs for roughly 30 years so I was pretty sure I was ok. I did tell the lady in all the time I have been eating eggs handled this way none of ever has ever gotten ill from them which could not be said about the 'sanitized' commercial eggs. She said " very interesting, I will have to read up on this." I guess thats a positive response. I just wanted to make sure I was on the right side of the fence on this answer.

    I only have one who will poop on eggs. They are not even her eggs. She is the evil hen from hades though and my hubby promises her daily that she will be dinner. She really is an evil little hen. Her sister is sweetness and light. She is not. You have to grab the eggs before she notices them though to keep them clean. Evil dang bird.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  6. Cavendish Chickens

    Cavendish Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2010
    Summit County, Ohio
    Quote:Tilling the poop into the ground is such a smart idea! I hadn't thought of that. The only thought I'd had was to put the poop in the gardens because I'd heard it was excellent fertilizer. What about the wood chips/straw? (We use straw.) What do you do with the old bedding/nesting materials? We've been putting the straw down in the actual run (outside the coop) to help keep it warmer now that it's snowing. And what do you do with the poop in the winter? Please message me any and all advice you can offer! You seem full of wonderful wisdom, and I am eager to learn!
  7. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    IMHO we sanitize stuff just a little too much which may be why people, especially younger ones, are allergic to so many things. That being said, we always wash our eggs before use just because it is tough to keep pieces of shell out of whatever we're making. In those cases where the eggs are not to be cooked (I use them for a glaze when I make jukikaka)--we always break them into a separate bowl and are careful about shells. Only those eggs that are obviously dirty are washed before storage--they are rinsed in warm water and brush them with a vegetable brush or wiped off with a paper towel. I've been known to use eggs that were slightly cracked in the nest without washing them--cooking them solid however. Last 72 years with that so guess it's working out for me so far. BTW, as far as I know the only thing I'm allergic to is dust mites--never reacted to poison ivy/oak/sumac, pet dander or any meds.

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