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Mrs. Overall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 01:31 PM
Original message
Washing/Cleaning Chicken Eggs?
My hens have just started laying eggs and since I'm new to raising chickens, I did some research on whether or not to wash/clean newly gathered eggs. I have found a lot of conflicting information.

Some sources say not to use water, but to clean the gathered eggs with a towel or gentle scrub brush. Others say to use water, but it should be hot because cold water forces bacteria through the shell into the egg, and still others say to use cool water with a non-scented dish detergent.

If my eggs aren't soiled, do I need to wash them at all? And if they do have mud or poop on them, what method would some of you with experience recommend?

Thanks!
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Fredda Weinberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. Industrial methods spray the eggs w/warm water
They looked pretty gross going into the wash ...

The shell isn't porous enough for water to force anything ... look how long you have to keep it under boiling water before air bubbles form for an idea.
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cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. That's why the eggs in the grocery store have those little spots
that you don't see and won't see for quite some time on fresh laid eggs. When I want to boil eggs I go buy some from the store because they're old/older. It takes a long time before fresh laid eggs get to that point, that is unless you wash them. :)
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. I just collect my own for my family.
If the egg is clean, I leave it alone. If it is dirty, I dunk it in water with some dishsopa and scrub it off with a sponge or towel or nylon pad, whatever is handy.

Collect the eggs at least dauliy and make sure there is a lot of bedding in the nests. That's the best way to keep the eggs clean. Collecting often also keeps the hens from breaking the eggs.

Have fun!
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
3. If they aren't soiled and not selling, don't wash.
There is lots of conflicting info about washing and about refrigerating. If they aren't dirty, you don't need to wash UNLESS you are selling them, in which case it's a CYA thing. (cover your ass). Some people refrigerate eggs, some don't. If you frig them for long, moisture can be pulled out of them (weeks). If you don't frig them, they can age (weeks). I don't wash unless they are dirty, and frig mine and they are fine.

If they are dirty (welcome to WA winters) I use comfortably warm water and a green scrubby. Reality seems to be that for a home chicken thing, it really doesn't matter.
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cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Exactly.
They last longer without going bad if you don't wash them so if you don't have to wash them, don't. Supposedly it destroys a coating the hen leaves on them so that they can hatch instead of going bad. And if you do wash them, use the ones you washed first.
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Arkansas Granny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. When we raised chickens and collected eggs, we only washed
the ones that were dirty. We just wiped them off with a damp cloth unless they were really soiled and then we would use a plastic scrubby and cool water.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
6. Do NOT wash those fresh eggs
You can brush off the, um, foreign material before you store them, but washing removes a protective film from them and reduces their shelf life.

You can wash them just before you use them if you're concerned with contamination of your foodstuffs, but remember, those eggs are designed to be laid in nests full of chicken poop. They have a layer of protection against contamination by it. Removing that layer allows them to become contaminated.
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Tumbulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-25-08 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. what do you recommend washing them with
right before using them? Just water, warm or cold? O do you ever use soap?

Most of the time I do not need to wash my eggs, but sometimes they are a horror.

Thanks, in advance.
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randr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
7. We have raised chickens for many years
and have been selling the eggs to our local health food market for as long.
Chicken eggs have a natural layer of immunity when laid. The fact that they do not rot even when incubated is all you need for proof. Having fertile eggs is also a plus.
We gather eggs each day and keep them out of direct light in a cool spot. We may only get to cleaning and carting once a week.
The test for eggs, freshly laid or otherwise, is the floating test. When placed in water the bad eggs float.
We place all eggs in a sink full of water, clean cold water.
Once the eggs have passed the float test, that would be the ones that do not float, we simple rinse them off, dry them, and place them in cartons.
At this point they need to be refrigerated.
Years of healthy satisfied customers is our proof of methodology.
Good luck!
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hippywife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-01-08 07:19 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. That would have been my response, too.
We get fresh large brown eggs from friends and will get our own chickens from him in the spring. Some of them are pretty awful looking but they stay in the carton, in the fridge, until I use them. Each gets a quick washing with cold water only before I use it.
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Mrs. Overall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-29-07 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
9. Thanks so much for all the info!
It sounds like the eggs don't need to be washed unless they are really dirty and if they are dirty, it sounds like I should clean them just prior to use.

I am having a blast so far raising my little flock and they have become pets. I've been surprised at how smart chickens are and how each bird has such a distinct personality. There's something very meditative and relaxing about watching them peck around and interact in their coop/yard.

Thanks again for your input!
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-03-08 10:02 PM
Response to Original message
11. I never do, unless they are absolutely covered with crap
ie another broken one, lots of feces, feathers and litter. Usually just rub anything off and take it as a sign I need to add some fresh hay to the nest box.
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OnionPatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-03-08 12:01 AM
Response to Original message
12. I wash all my eggs.
I've also heard that you shouldn't, but the thought of bringing chicken crap into my kitchen turns me off big time. I just give them a quick rinse under cold water if they look pretty clean. I scrub them a little with a scrubby pad if dirty.

Our eggs are eaten pretty quickly, so even if washing removes some sort of protective layer, I have never noticed that it hurt their good, fresh flavor in the least.
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miwin1000 Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
14. Question about frozen eggs
I recently got 2 Ameraucana hens. They started laying for me sometime in the last few days. I got a big surprize today when I went out to check their food. 8 beautiful blue eggs. Only thing is, they were frozen (it's been very cold the last week). They did have some poop on them so I rinsed them with plain water and a scrub brush, put them in a carton and put them in the fridge. 1 egg had crack so kept that out to cook for my dogs. I just want to make sure its ok to eat eggs after they've been frozen. Should I keep them frozen until I use them?
Thanks
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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Yes, its fine.
There isn't any safety issue with frozen eggs. Quality is still at least as good as "grocery store" eggs, the main difference is that, after freezing, the white will be a lot thinner than it had been.

If the egg is frozen to the point its cracked, it is easier to either keep it frozen until you want to use it, or to crack it out and use right away. Because, once it thaws, it will leak eggwhite all over. If the eggs aren't cracked, it doesn't matter either way.

You can keep eggs frozen for about 4 months before you'll start to notice issues with "freezer odor" and off taste, of course, the more tightly they're wrapped, the longer they'll last in frozen storage. Once again, as they age, there won't be a safety issue, just a quality issue in terms of flavor, appearance, and odor.

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FedUpWithIt All Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
15. We don't wash the clean ones either and if they are dirty we dry brush them off
Edited on Sat Dec-10-11 12:43 PM by FedUpWithIt All
and occasionally i'll rinse them in vinegar water right before we use them. The eggs last longer if they are not washed due to a coating called bloom which prevents bacteria from entering the shell.

Congrats on your new chickens. We LOVE ours.
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