Wash eggs or not?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Pump Hill Peeps, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. Pump Hill Peeps

    Pump Hill Peeps Chirping

    Aug 3, 2010
    Jordan, NY
    We were wondering if it's common or necessary to wash our eggs. Would like some feedback on this. thanks in advance for your input.

  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Hi and welcome to BYC!
    I don't wash the eggs. Washing eggs remove the bloom, a topcoat if you will, that the hen applies to the egg at the end of the laying process. The bloom seals the eggshell, preventing dirt and germs from entering. I also sell my extra eggs and my egg customers know that they should only wash right before using.
    If you feel you must wash your eggs it's important that you do so only in water that is at least 20 degress warmer than the egg itself. Washing in cold water causes the contents of the egg to contract, pulling dirt and germs in. Warm water causes the contents to expand, pushing germs up and out. After washing, eggs should be dried with a clean cloth and refrigerated. Using a detergant is not necessary. Eggs with the bloom intact stay fresh alot longer than washed eggs.
    Here is the results of an interesting egg storage experiment done by the staff of Mother Earth News:

  3. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Songster

    Aug 15, 2010
    West Michigan
    I rinse off the eggs my chickens lay, in hot running tap water (almost too hot to put my hand in), and air dry them before refrigerating. One reason why I wash them is I use shredded newspaper in the nest boxes, and when the eggs are newly laid and damp the newspaper sticks to the shells. The newsprint rubs off on the shells and it looks dirty. Even though I know it's just newsprint, it could be mistaken for feces by someone who bought my eggs. And sometimes there is feces on the eggshells and I wouldn't want to crack an egg into cake batter and find crap on the shell. Would you?

    I've thought about putting straw in the nest boxes, but the girls really like the shredded newspaper and it's softer, cleaner, and cheaper than straw. They play with the long shreds and toss it around the coop like ribbons. Silly chickens.
  4. tarheelmama7914

    tarheelmama7914 Chirping

    Aug 27, 2010
    Claremont, NC
    I read about the cold water ruining the protective coating so I wash mine with fairly hot water as they are typically dirty with dark brown muck...
  5. alaskachick

    alaskachick Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Wasilla, Alaska
    I have read that if you plan on boiling your eggs they need to be washed very well because if you dont you will be boiling the eggs you plan to eat in water that has poop particles and such.
  6. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    Quote:This is too funny. Other day I was cleaning out my paper shredder and my room mate asked me if I had ever heard of anyone using shredded paper to use for nest lining. I said no, but it sounded interesting.....so it does work?? how much news print rubs off on the egg?
  7. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    My eggs usually aren't too dirty, but I knock off any large poo lumps if there are any. If they are very grubby and you want them for cakes etc, why don't you clean them up just before you are going to use them?


  8. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Songster

    Aug 15, 2010
    West Michigan
    Quote:Well, even though I have only 12 ISA Browns, they're laying 10-12 eggs every morning (even when it was 90 degrees out) and I just can't use all those eggs myself. So I've been giving them to my family members, friends, and now my father-in-law's selling them for $1.75/dozen at his truck garden stand. Makes him happy, and they're nice eggs. So I want them looking clean. Since I don't have any roos, I'm not going to hatch chicks, so any bloom on the eggs isn't worth the curb value of having clean eggs to sell or give away. Plus, I refrigerate the eggs, so leaving feces on the shell would draw all that bacteria into the egg as the shell contracted if it wasn't washed.

    I don't use anything but hot water to clean the shells, or maybe a very little vegetable oil-based unscented bar soap (handmade by a friend of mine) to clean very very dirty eggs. I've seen commercial egg washes advertised, but I'm only cleaning 12 eggs maximum every morning so I don't need the expense.

    As to the shredded paper in the nest boxes... it is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. A hen will climb into the nest box and rearrange the paper shreds to her liking, wallowing around in them like it was a dust bath, picking up strands and flipping them over her back. Since all newspapers use soy based inks it's ok to use the color pages as well. And when I clean out the coop every week, the newspaper degrades in the straw/compost heap which the girls love to turn over for worms.
    The ink from the paper shreds transfers to the shell when I have to peel off a strand stuck to the egg. Not much, 'cause it's in 1/4" strips, but it's unsightly.
  9. Lynette

    Lynette Songster

    I don't wash eggs. I just rinse the off right before I use them.
  10. Alabama ee

    Alabama ee Songster

    Feb 18, 2010
    Quote:That is a great article. I had no idea eggs could be kept that long.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2010

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