Raising your own chickens has become more and more commonplace in America over the last several years. Some people simply enjoy it as a hobby, others come to love them as pets, and many just prefer to know where the meat on their table comes from. The most popular reason for keeping backyard chickens though? Farm fresh eggs!
Whether you’re harvesting your chicken eggs to eat yourself, give away, or sell at the market, it’s important that you complete the process safely and efficiently. Fortunately, the whole thing is pretty simple, but we’ll go over it for you in detail below!
Collecting the Eggs
Plan to gather eggs from your chicken coop every morning and check again for more in the evening as well. Frequent collecting reduces the chances of the eggs being eaten or accidentally cracked by your chickens, or taken by a predator. All you’ll need is a smooth, clean container in which you can layer the eggs gently (stacking no higher than five).
Cleaning the Eggs
One of the great things about fresh eggs is they don’t really need to be washed! Eggs have a natural coating called a bloom that protects them from bacteria. In order to leave this intact, you need only wipe them down with a dry cloth or dry abrasive sponge to remove debris. If there’s a lot of dirt, poop, or yolk on an egg, you can gently scrub it under warm water and allow it to air dry. But if you keep your coop clean, you shouldn’t run into that problem often.
Storing the Eggs
After your eggs are clean, store them in cartons labeled with the date. If you used water to clean them, they MUST be refrigerated. If you gave them a dry clean, you can choose to store them either in the fridge or at room temperature. Keep in mind that fresh eggs last longer when refrigerated, for approximately one month.
A little tip to check for freshness is to place the egg in a glass of water. If it floats, most of the contents has evaporated and it’s pretty much rotten. If it suspends in the middle, it’s a little old but still okay to eat. If it sinks to the bottom, the egg is still fresh.
The prefab and custom-size chicken coops we have available here at Deer Creek Structures make it easy to protect your chickens and collect their eggs! Our coops are fully enclosed and include built-in roost bars and nest boxes. Our largest model even comes equipped with an attached feed room.
Contact our team today to learn more about our quality chicken coops!