Not a lot has been happening around here yet, so I’m going to take a post to show our daily routine of collecting, cleaning, and storing eggs.
Here we have our egg collector, my oldest daughter. We joke around with her and call her the animal whisperer, because she seriously is! The kid can get an escapee chicken to go back into the coup just by talking to it and opening the door. She loves animals and animals seem to love her. While all of our kids chip in with chores around the house, we do let them pick which ones they prefer. This one always picks the chores related to the animals and will go out in freezing weather without complaining. My husband jokes that our animals are still alive because of her, which is kind of true. My track record isn’t great!
She collects the eggs around noon. Our chickens lay eggs anywhere from 8am-3pm, but most have laid by noon. After she brings in the eggs, usually 75-85 of them, it’s my job to sort and clean. This is where it gets interesting, and we have learned quite a bit.
To wash or not to wash farm fresh eggs.
Eggs have what they call a “bloom”. This is a micro membrane coating on them to keep bacteria out and their environment clean. Here’s a short clip from youtube showing the bloom developing: https://youtu.be/YLSKEGfYdm4
Eggs are also porous, so when we wash eggs in water, we wash off that protective coating and allow potential bacteria to soak in.
So what should we do?
We try to limit the amount of rinsing that we have to do. Sometimes, certain chickens are just dirty…..ya know like that one kid that always comes in muddy even on a dry-sunny day. You know who I’m talking about…….. here’s mine:
Don’t let her cuteness fool you. She’s pretty gross.
So I take the eggs and sort them. I brush off the clean eggs, use a Norwex cloth to buff out any spots, and then rinse the dirty ones. Yes, a few of our eggs are rinsed.
In this picture, from today, the ones on the black towel need to be buffed in spots and the dirty ones in the red bowl need to be rinsed. The rest are naturally clean.
Then we package them up in recycled cartons and store them in our spare refrigerator. Farm fresh eggs do not have to be refrigerated, but they will stay fresh longer if you do. Eggs can stay stored at room temperature for a month or in the refrigerator for up to six months. Since our operation is small, our eggs are sold within a week of being laid.
Other happenings this week:
We got our spring garden seedlings up and running. I’ll have more on that later! Our baby bunnies turned 5 weeks old and are the cutest, most irresistible, fur-balls…….AND available as your future pet! Keith also moved the solar mobile fencing for the chickens. They are thoroughly enjoying their new area.