Egg handling and storage – Best practice guidelines

Egg handling and storage – Best practice guidelines 

 One of the benefits of raising your own chickens is knowing what they eat and what goes into the eggs they lay. Another good thing is knowing that your eggs are fresh. The average egg sold at the grocery store can last up to eight weeks after purchase.
Hopefully none of your backyard eggs will last that long, but if they do, here are some tips for keeping your eggs fresh for as long as possible. Good handling and safety
Proper handling and storage keeps eggs fresh and healthy for consumption. If you are hatching eggs, proper pre-housing before incubation is also important to maintain fertility. But most chicken breeders don't know the basics!
We explain how to keep your egg clean, the best egg storage options.

1. Dirty eggs and clean eggs

No one likes dirty egg. But some methods of cleaning eggs can make eggs unsafe to eat!

Is it necessary to wash fresh egg before storing them?

It is not recommended to wash fresh egg unless they are dirty. Chicken eggs are covered with a thin layer called the bloom. The bloom closes the egg shell, which is porous, and prevents bacteria or other harmful substances from entering the egg. Washing the egg will remove the bloom, which means bacteria can easily enter. The temperature of the watching water can even push bacterial into the egg!
Therefore, keeping the eggs clean is the best option. It is not necessary to wash clean egg, because the bloom time will prevent contamination and make the eggs last longer.

Should chicken eggs be washed immediately before use?


Eggs do not need to be washed before use. Every wash increases the chance of bacteria entering the shell. Cook with a clean eggs and wash your hands when handling egg shell or raw eggs before continuing with your cooking.

How to clean dirty eggs

The best thing you can do is keep your egg clean first. We provide some tips on how to do this below.
But even in the cleanest chicken coop, you will occasionally have dirty eggs.

 If you get dirty egg: 

  • Clean it up as soon as possible. The longer the poop stays on the shell, the more bacteria can reproduce and spread inside the egg.
  •  Dry cleaning is the best way to clean dirty egg. Use a dry paper towel, brush, or dry sponge to remove any dirt or grime.
  • For really hard stools, try soaking a paper towel in warm water.
  • Eggs should be immersed in water as a last resort. If you must wash the eggs, use hot water in the sink or basin.

Do not place the egg under running water, as a last resort. But do not clean or wash the eggs in cold water, always use warm. Running water and cold water can force bacteria into the eggs, making the eggs unfit to eat. 

Even after cleaning dirty egg, you should:

  • Keep it separate from the clean eggs
  •  Store it in the fridge
  •  Try to use it immediately or as soon as possible
  •  Wash your hands after you finish the job
  •  Cook the egg thoroughly before eating it

On commercial farms, eggs that have more dirt or poop than is removed by dry scrubbing for industrial use. Dirty egg are considered unhealthy and thrown away completely. 

How to help your chickens produce clean eggs
Dirty eggs can be caused by many things: 

  •  A large piece of grass stuck to the egg usually appears when the hen lays in the nest box.
  •  Poop marks on eggs are usually caused when chickens track small amounts of feces in the nest box on their feet.
  • Poo streaks on an egg are usually caused by a chicken with dirty bum.

There are a few things you can do to ensure your hens produce the cleanest eggs:

 Always collect eggs regularly.
 Clean nest boxes and replace nesting materials regularly.

  •  Keep the coop clean and dry so the chickens don't drag their droppings into the nest box at their feet.
  • Don't let chickens sleep or stay in the nest box.
  • Feed your chickens a healthy diet of whole chicken feed and avoid a lot of leftovers and treats.
  •  Treat your chicken regularly against parasites .
  •  Make sure there are enough nest boxes for your flock.
  •  Take care of the broody chickens, don't leave them in the nest box.
  • Separate the other hens from the flock.
  • Keep insect out of the chicken coop .
  •  When a chicken has a dirty bum, separate her from the rest of the flock and seek advice from a veterinarian. 


 Roll away nesting boxes

Roll away nesting box is designed so that the egg moves into a protected room immediately after being placed. Not only does this prevent breakage and accidental egg consumption, but it makes the eggs cleaner!
Roll away nesting box is especially useful if you are not at home to collect eggs all day.

2. Egg storage

 Contrary to popular belief, eggs do not need to be stored in the refrigerator. But there are some benefits of storing eggs in the fridge.

Should eggs be refrigerated?
Eggs last a long time in the refrigerator. But fresh eggs don't need to be refrigerated.


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