Fresh eggs are one of the reasons why people keep backyard chickens.
|But your fresh eggs could be dangerous to eat if you don't collect, clean, and store them right.
Most chicken coops are not the cleanest places on earth. They're full of dirt, poop, and things your eyes can't see: bacteria.
If you don't clean and store your eggs right, they could bring nasty bugs into your kitchen and could harm your other foods and your health.
For that reason, follow this guide to make sure your eggs are safe to eat.
Collecting your fresh eggs from the coopCheck your coop at least twice a day for eggs. Once in the morning, and once in the evening. For larger flock, you may want to check at least three times a day.
But why that often?Eggs are fragile and bacteria can easily enter the skin if there's the slightest crack on it. The longer you leave them, the higher possibility of your eggs becoming cracked.
But that's not the only reason.Your own chickens may eat them.
Chickens, like humans, like to eat eggs (yes, even their own!). This can become a bad habit for your hens…they'll eat the egg as soon as its layed.
You also don't want your eggs to get poopy, even if you can clean them. Most chicken coops are not the cleanest places on earth. They're full of dirt, poop, and things your eyes can't see: bacteria.
Leaving eggs will attract predators like rats, dogs or cats. They know eggs can’t run, unlike chickens, your eggs are the easiest meal for them.
When it comes to collecting your eggs, just take a container big enough to your coop and put the eggs inside it.
Although you may not have a lot of eggs yet, it's important to know that you shouldn't stack your eggs more than 5 layers high because it'll increase the chance of breakage.
Cleaning the eggs
|Eggs naturally have a coating that protects it from bacteria. When you wash the egg it washes off this protective coating so your eggs won’t keep fresh as long.
That's why it isn't necessary to wash the egg. Well, actually it's better if you don't wash them until you're ready to use it. Unless you’ve got dirt or poop on them, like these:
1. Your hens and their coop.
If the layers themselves are dirty, their eggs will be most likely dirty too. With that in mind, it's important to keep your hens and coop clean so your can eat your eggs safely.
2. Wash your hands!
Storing your eggs
You don't have to store your fresh eggs in a fridge. They will be fine at normal room temperatures.
A maximum time to store an egg is 5 weeks, no more than that. Although it's better to just eat it before 5 weeks old.
If you lose track of how old your eggs are, here's a way to tell if they are safe to eat… float them on water: