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Poultry and Livestock: Chickens and their eggs

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PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 13, 2006
6:10 PM

Post #1973823

I have 5 hens that are laying eggs now. Is it true, or am I just imagining it, that their eggs increase in size after the first couple months they start to lay ?
They look larger to me, but since I have 5 different kinds of hens, they are all different sizes naturally. So it's kinda hard to tell ... but the ones that I know come from certain hens, look a little bit bigger as time goes bye.

Also, I have 1 hen that should start to lay any day now. She's a RIR and I know her eggs will be brown.

Coincidentally, my buff orpington has not layed for 2 days, but I found a really dark, dark brown egg the size of a large marble in the nest today. Really tiny, even smaller than my smallest banty's lay. Banty's all lay white eggs and have been laying for several months now. So I don't think it's theirs. Wonder if that's the first for the RIR. It's way darker than my only other brown egger lays. Or wonder if there's something wrong with my buff orpington to make
her skip a day then lay a tiny one. She lays every day, it's unusual for her to miss a day. I confused now. Would a regular sized RIR lay a tiny egg her first time ?
lauriwilson
Caistor
United Kingdom
(Zone 8b)

January 13, 2006
6:20 PM

Post #1973847

Hi PeggyK, My chickens will lay a tiny egg when they are finishing their egg laying cycle tho sometimes they will pop out a small one to start. Mine start out smallish and then go to regular size as they get going. When they first start mine lay every other day for a bit and then daily going to every other day when they are getting ready to molt. I've only got Barred Rocks now but did have silkys,RIR and bantys too. If only the Banty's laid a bigger egg they'd be a great chicken!! Tough little buggers :o) hope this helps ...Lauri
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

January 13, 2006
7:44 PM

Post #1974008

good info you guys, thanks!
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 15, 2006
8:33 PM

Post #1979012

Yea Lauri, I think the banty's lay the best quality eggs. They always seem to be perfect. My Buff Orpington always has meat spots in hers. Makes em kinda unappetizing if you want just plain fried eggs. Everything I've researched so far says the meat spots are harmless, so we use them and
just pick out the brown thingies.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 15, 2006
8:34 PM

Post #1979015

Yea Lauri, I think the banty's lay the best quality eggs. They always seem to be perfect. My Buff Orpington always has meat spots in hers. Makes em kinda unappetizing if you want just plain fried eggs. Everything I've researched so far says the meat spots are harmless, so we use them and
just pick out the brown thingies.
lagata2
Ozark, AL
(Zone 8b)

January 17, 2006
10:44 PM

Post #1983671

When my new young hens start laying, the eggs are about 1/3 the size they will be after 6 months of practice. I also get some double yolkers, and rarely, eggs without shells (wind eggs I've heard them called) from these new girls now and then. It seems to take them a bit of time to 'get it right' ! ;)

The banty eggs are so small, I mix 8 of them well with a dash of salt, and put them in baggies in the freezer for future scrambled eggs. Equiv of four eggs that way, and I'm happy to have them when the hens go into no-lay mode.

My girls are Americauna, Silver laced Cochin, Silky, Mille Fleur, and two gold Buffs.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

January 17, 2006
10:50 PM

Post #1983679

oh, i have been eyeing buff orphingtons...

good idea about freezing the scrambled eggs. oh, how i miss them when they don't lay!

Peggy, my first choices for this year are Delaware and Rose Combed Brown Leghorns.

My ohter wishes are Buckeye, Buff Orphington, Mottled Javas (or any Java), Naked Necks (OK, i am really wishing LOL), Blue Andalusian, and Pea Fowl. And wild turkeys, and more colors of guineas.

so, what were you thinking of getting?

tf
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 18, 2006
4:25 PM

Post #1984994

I've really wondered about the Buffs, I think they are pretty color, and are said to be good eggers. I have one and she is a very nice gal. I wish I could find someone to share an order with me, as I really think 25 is more
than what I need. The Buff Orp. I have is a great layer, she's only missed 2 days this whole winter. But the quality is not so good, she's the one that has the meat spots in hers.

TamaraFay, sounds like you might wind up with quite an assortment. Good idea. That way there will always be "something going on, eggwise."

Thanks lagata2, good idea to freeze for those slack days.
danak
Olympia, WA
(Zone 7b)

January 19, 2006
2:09 AM

Post #1985946

It's so much fun having chickens! I was in charge of chicken care-taking as a kid, and now as an adult I'm happy to have chickens once again. They sure are funny to observe. :) We got ours in July, and so far two of four are laying. We have Americaunas, a Leghorn, and a RIR. Our eggs have been very nice so far, with one double-yolker. I'm expecting the other two chickens to lay any day now... I've been keeping track of the laying, and we get an egg almost every day from the Leghorn (even now in the winter), and two/three days on and one day off from the Americauna. The green eggs are sure fun.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

January 19, 2006
2:24 AM

Post #1985984

i just LOVE green eggs and ham! During both pregnancies, i refused ot eat any but hte green eggs. i had a good source for them at the time ;-)

PeggieK, i sure wish i could get you come chickens. if i knew what you wanted and how many, i could include them in my orders, and get them half grown for you. Then you could say "Is this the Way to Amarillo?", and we could meet there for lunch and poultry swap!

i suppose my guineas will be laying soon, i have four hens that hatched the first of August. can anyone tell what signs to look for when they are ready to lay, or will i just walk in one day and see an egg or two?

btw, i thought Buff was a color that a lot of breeds come in? Of all the buffs i have seen i think i like the Orphington best. You can even get a Buff Guinea!

tf

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 26, 2006
12:31 AM

Post #2000417

tf - my guinea hens would lay their eggs in a grassy spot, hidden away from sight.
They'd dissappear to sit on 'em and then one day would bring back a huge crew of
babies! I never did quite figure out their cycle but it seemed like they only lay eggs
for a month, then stop for a few months and then start again. Not like chickens. But
that's just my impression - they always hid the eggs so I can't be sure!
lauriwilson
Caistor
United Kingdom
(Zone 8b)

January 26, 2006
2:36 AM

Post #2000958

LOL Tammy, Been there done that. Guineas and Bantys are both good for bringing home unexpected visitors =))..Lauri
danak
Olympia, WA
(Zone 7b)

January 26, 2006
3:55 AM

Post #2001118

Yay!! Our last hen started laying today, because we got TWO green eggs in one day! I'm so proud of my ladies. :)
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 26, 2006
4:33 AM

Post #2001184

How fun. It's always fun to go out and finally find that extra egg in the nest.
Seems like when we're looking for it, we almost think it will never happen, then one day ...surprise !
danak
Olympia, WA
(Zone 7b)

January 26, 2006
7:15 AM

Post #2001274

I've been keeping track of the laying (I know, I go overboard with everything I do...) and realized we had quite a few green eggs in a row. I suspected that maybe they were both laying, but it still was a surprise!!

The RI Red, on the other hand, was no surprise at all. I knew she was about to lay. She started acting very different: more bold around us, vocal, and very interested in the nests and eggs. I was checking multiple times a day, and I think the second or third day there was a brown egg.

I was so surprised by our first eggs ever, though (white from our Leghorn), that there were already three eggs in the nest before I discovered them! It is a lot of fun. :)
Emtnest
Chico, CA

January 26, 2006
8:43 AM

Post #2001295

Hummmm had no idea you could freeze eggs...for later use in scrambled eggs...what kind of containers do you put yours in? Dottie
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

January 26, 2006
3:10 PM

Post #2001664

Danak, finding that first egg reminds me of when I was a little girl and spotted the bright colored Easter eggs hidden in the yard. That element of delight and surprise...takes me back LOL.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

January 26, 2006
3:37 PM

Post #2001704

they go nicely in ice cube trays...
lagata2
Ozark, AL
(Zone 8b)

January 26, 2006
4:11 PM

Post #2001771

yes I too have heard of the ice cube tray thing, Mixed, yolks broken, dash of salt, then poured into the tray, and when frozen pop them out and put them in ziplock or other container and consider each cube as one egg. But I do almost no baking, and rarely need one or two eggs at a time. I've always got bunches of projects going on, and usually go the easiest quickest route, which is app 4 eggs into a small ziplock which I carefully lay flat until frozen. Then I can stand them upright in the freezer door, and the bags thaw quickly in a warm water bath..
lagata2
Ozark, AL
(Zone 8b)

January 26, 2006
4:41 PM

Post #2001825

By the way Tamara, your mind/body knew what it was doing by demanding only the blue/green eggs during pregnancy...I thought for years that I had suddenly become allergic to eggs back in the mid '80's, but loved them now and then anyway. And would get sick afterward :(
Then I got the Arucaunas and a few other types, and had my first fresh eggs. And got sick. But through happenstance, when I had only blue/green eggs available, I Didn't!!
Confused, I searched the web and came accross this ; Eggs; No Yolking Matter" which starts out " Eggs used to be safe to eat..."
http://www.cspinet.org/nah/eggs-ja.htm
I seem to be very sensitive to Salmonella, though healthy as a horse otherwise. (And from experience, I'd say the ratio of bad eggs out there is MUCH MUCH higher than they say!!) So I called the place I got the chicks from, and asked if they vaccinated against it, and told them why I wondered. I was told they didn't, but that because the aracaunas were a wilder strain, they just were not as susceptible as most domestic fowl.
Now I almost never get sick from them, as long as I stick to home eggs, and the bluer the better. These girls earned the palace I built them!!! Lol!

Thumbnail by lagata2
Click the image for an enlarged view.

TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

January 26, 2006
5:23 PM

Post #2001901

so glad to know i'm not weird! everyone else thought i was. but i was always first on the man's delivery list, so i got all i wanted LOL. Some i boiled for midnight snacks... I also refused chocolate and milk products with my first pregnancy, and anything with food coloring, and ate little meat. that particular guy prefesr veggies, soy milk, and naturally colored foods! i goofed and gave into stress with my second, and he is a candy and chocolate holic!!!

hmmmm, this new information may change things. first of all, i would want chicks that were NOT vacinated, as i would assume the vaccination is a strain of the salmonella [dead or alive, wwill have to find out], and it is passed into the eggs, much like we pass on our immunities... and preventing it should be accomplished simply through a clean enviroment and healthy vigor by way of natural herbal remedies...

secondly, since guinea are wild fowl, and therefore less suceptible to salmonella, i think we will REALLY enjoy eating their eggs!!!

and yesterday we took a vote while i was making scrambled egg sandwiches for lunch. i said, "For our first year, do we want chickens that lay brown eggs, or chickens that lay white eggs". i had narrowed it down to Rose Combed Brown Leghorns and Javas.

they both answered: "Green!" No, i said, that is not a choice, i don't like those chickens as well because... blah blah blah.

So they decided on white, and i was all excited about getting the brown leghorns. now you tell me more about the blue green eggs, and i will have to make up my mind all over again!!!

sigh...
hmstyl
Cleveland, GA
(Zone 7a)

January 26, 2006
7:57 PM

Post #2002157

lagata - that is an awesome chicken palace you built! I enjoyed that article you linked to, and even though it was from 1997, I would think that it is even more true today with the millions of eggs in the market now compared to 1997.

Ever notice when you buy eggs at the grocery store, they are stacked up in an open cooler, and you open the carton of eggs and the eggs do not feel cold? I always wondered why the milk and the eggs aren't kept in coolers with doors on them to keep them cold.
Breezymeadow
Culpeper, VA
(Zone 7a)

January 26, 2006
8:06 PM

Post #2002171

Lagata - as far as I know, there is NO vaccination available against Salmonella. If there were, every commercial poulterer on the planet would be using it in order to increase egg consumption. Salmonella is not a disease like Marek's or Coccidiosis, but a bacteria.

And no breed of poultry, Aracauna or otherwise, is any more exempt from contracting it as any other. That's a ridiculous & completely false claim for a hatchery to make & has absolutely no scientific basis. (By the way, I'd LOVE to know what hatchery gave you this information so I can avoid them like the plague.) In fact, wild birds are more likely to harbor Salmonella than domestics, & most home flocks that do contract Salmonella pick it up from wild bird droppings.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

January 27, 2006
4:17 AM

Post #2003266

well, why didn't i think of that? brain not working, of course salmonella is a bacteria. i let my kids like the bowl when we bake, can't help it, it is the "Chef's treat". if they were to feel the least bit nauseous after that, i have a special rememdy

funny, that article is 97, and it was 1997 when i started eating green eggs!

OK, still can't decide which chicken to get this year. i want to go one breed at a time, so ican become familiar with them...
lagata2
Ozark, AL
(Zone 8b)

January 27, 2006
4:25 AM

Post #2003276

Ahh BreezyMeadow, it's your day to learn something new!!! :)
As a rule, birds/animals that are are Not severely inbred by humans or circumstance are better able to fight/avoid disease (and bacterial infections) than those that are. Many "pure breed" dogs are a great example of inbreeding that causes a greater susceptibility to certain diseases which out crosses (mutts) wouldn't be nearly as likely to have. Also, " wild strain, " vs "wild birds" is key in this, but actually it's usually unclean conditions and/or poor handling which cause the shells to be contaminated with droppings.
Throwing up etc (or not) was a biggie to me, and I didn't come up with all this without good reason and research. Vaccination is not against salmonellae itself, but against the disease salmonella enteritis. Here is a simple web page on the vaccination;
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/12/981204074551.htm
Here is a more complex one.
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol6no5/rabsch.htm
If the diseases is in the ovaries of the hen, the chicks born of those eggs will carry it. Of course cleanliness counts too, and any flock or egg could still carry it, regardless of breeding. Clearly the Hatchery in question kept a clean place, and was willing to answer odd questions from prospective or past customers. They don't sell show quality birds, but nice healthy ones, in lesser numbers than most of the others (15 vs 25) mix or match. Very friendly folks! It was Cackle Hatchery. I've never lost a chick in transit, and they usually include extras.

Tamara; one of the neat things with mixed color eggs is the fun of looking at the year around "Easter Basket" Effect :) No doubt the kids could astound some of their friends with the blue/green eggs as well. My husband loves to give them away to people who never saw/heard of them before. ;)

Yes Hmstyl I'm sure it's worse, or at least no better. One article I found then said that testing/vaccinating would be so horribly expensive, it was decided to warn the public rather than require the additional expense of the egg industry. (???!!!!)
The chicken "palace" is bright clean and airy, (I painted everything white as I built it) with elec and auto water, and built to withstand anything short of a direct hit by a tree or tornado!

Thumbnail by lagata2
Click the image for an enlarged view.

TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

January 27, 2006
4:33 AM

Post #2003283

nice roosts! where are the laying boxes?

good info. it seems to me then, that possibly the antiquity breeds would also have a better resistance?

i see white japanese silkies and auracanas, what else do you have there?

tf
lagata2
Ozark, AL
(Zone 8b)

January 27, 2006
6:00 AM

Post #2003343

I'd say research a breed of ANYTHING before deciding a rule on it. Ask "real" people about the breed before you get it, and find where they got theirs if it fits what you want. A truely well bred animal will fit the "best" description, but the one of that breed you can afford may not at all!
You just want eggs, and apparently no one in your family is touchy to them. (one egg in a batter that made 9 hushpuppies made me sick on just 1 of them!!). Get what you like! Mix and match!!
I have 2 buffs, a batch of bearded ear tufted americaunas (mcmurry's seem to be stronger with true arucana blood, which lay more blue that green eggs) 4 silver laced cochins, 3 mille fleurs (sp?) and three white silkies, two of which are presently setting a batch of fancy silky eggs I bought. I Love silkies!! So sweet and gentle, or at least these are!! DH is more than happy to eat or give away any extra eggs we have.
The nest boxes are just out of camera range on the left. They are an aluminum (easy cleanup) two tier prefab type I bought at an auction. The roost is hung so it will lift up easily for cleaning underneath.
I never liked chickens until I had my own ;)
danak
Olympia, WA
(Zone 7b)

January 27, 2006
6:17 AM

Post #2003358

Bacteria contain molecular "markers" recognized by the immune system as foreign just as viruses do. It is this recognition that causes the immune response induced by vaccines. So why couldn't there be vaccines for bacteria, too? Aren't there vaccines for anthrax and tuberculosis, both of which are bacteria? As for the Salmonella vaccine mentioned above, I understand Salmonella enteritis to be the scientific name of the species of Salmonella bacteria. (I believe the disease associated with Salmonella infection is technically called Salmonellosis.) Also, once a person is vaccinated, the contents of the vaccine are destroyed by the immune system, leaving just the antibodies that can then react quickly in case of subsequent contact. I don't think one should have reason to worry about the vaccine entering a fetus across the placenta (not to mention that placentas and amniotic fluid have antiviral properties, and bacteria can rarely cross the placenta). I know less about chicken eggs. But if immunity was conferred to the offspring (chick or human), I would see that as a benefit. Anyway, I was left confused by parts of the above discussion. Hopefully this offers some clarification...

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 27, 2006
11:19 AM

Post #2003510

I find the little bantums are very hardy & can fly fairly well. They do not seem as friendly though.
I love my aracana's (easter chickens). They seem to have a lot of personality - one has very pronounced
"ears", one honks like a goose and the other loves to be scratched /tossled on the back. And they
have beautiful eggs. For physical attractiveness, my favorite is a big black cochin hen. She's just huge
with feathers, all the way to have fuzzy slipper feet.

And every day I have an easter egg hunt. I have to search all over to get the eggs. Its fun.

Tam
danak
Olympia, WA
(Zone 7b)

February 5, 2006
2:18 AM

Post #2023469

We have a RI Red that began laying recently. Some of her eggs are a nice brown (as I remember them from our chickens when I was a kid), but some are very speckled white. Do the speckles indicate anything that I should be concerned about?

Thanks,
Dana
WigglyPaw
Hastings, MI
(Zone 5b)

February 10, 2006
8:31 PM

Post #2035680

Me and my kids grew up with about 13 chickens. they laid eggs every day. Nice big
brown ones. the first eggs, the kids used to call them "floppy" because thats what
they were.

I thought the eggs got bigger and bigger the longer we had the chickens. some of
our girls were over 10 years old!!! Awwwk!!!!
They were in great shape because the kids used to chase them to see who could
catch them. They all could. We learned the fine Zen art of catching chickens. : )

Banana peels have a toxin in them as does peach and apricot pits, they have
cyanide? very poisonous. cherry pits too I think. never looked them up, but you have
to be careful with your critters around different food/fruits trees and plants.

Our girls were perfect bug catchers, and weed removers. We never had bug
nor did we have weed, or any poison ivy. they scratched it all out and away!!!!
When Lyme disease was becoming really big, there was a NY Times article
about Guniea Hens out on Long Island somewhere in a families backyard,
those Guniea girls would zoom around there large yard and keep it totally
tick free.

We decided to get chickens after that article, and it was true, but we got
Rhode Island Reds because the Guniea Hens were so noisy. (sorry).
Regards,
sheri
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 10, 2006
10:29 PM

Post #2035977

I'd love to let mine out to free range around our yard, but I'm afraid they would destroy my flower beds and veggie garden. We could really use the bug patrol they would provide. We have crickets like crazy.
I know that my regular chickens would eat from my garden as they love anything green. I know they would be pretty destructive. But are the guineas like that, or do they mostly eat the bugs? Seems like I've heard of people letting their guineas in their garden to help keep bugs in check.
But then I've heard stories of people's chickens wiping out their gardens too. If they aren't too destructive, I think I'd like to have guineas.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 11, 2006
12:16 AM

Post #2036250

I found that my bantums do not bother the flowerr gardens but the bigger hens love
digging in my beds.
Zeppy
Shenandoah Valley, VA
(Zone 6b)

February 11, 2006
12:30 AM

Post #2036287

Some people put a chicken wire "moat" around their garden and the chickens can patrol there and intercept many, many garden pests.

Chickens are also very useful for wiping out the overwintering larvae of Japanese beetles, cucumber beetles, etc., in the dormant garden soil.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

February 11, 2006
1:34 AM

Post #2036463

there is a book called Gardening with Guineas that tells everything you need to know about that. they mostly DON'T disturb your beds, and they DO eat ticks and grasshoppers, etc. They can get noisy, either calling to each other, being lonely, or alerting to danger [great watch dogs!]

Our neighborhood is pretty used to them, as two other have had them in the past. Only one does now.

I am really loving my guineas! They took their first step outside the coop today. They didn't go past the front of the door, then came back in when i called them to eat :-)

Peggy, when they are available i will be ordering some guineas. Probably the lavendar. We can get together later if you want some!

tf

PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

February 12, 2006
4:41 PM

Post #2040213

Sounds good TamaraFaye, maybe we can split an order.

Zeppy, since most of my veg. beds are 4 x 4 or 4 x 6 raised beds, I suppose I could stretch some chicken wire around them to protect from my chickens. I had an awful time last year with the squash bugs killing my squash and cucumbers.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

February 12, 2006
7:46 PM

Post #2040590

OK. just to clarify, you meeant guineas but not chickens, right?

;-)
Virginian
Falls Mills, VA

February 28, 2006
2:01 PM

Post #2077031

lagata2:
THAT is a beautiful chicken coop. It appears well constructed and well kept. Its even PAINTED on the INSIDE,...I'm impressed. I doubt Martha Stewart could top yours.
Virginian
lagata2
Ozark, AL
(Zone 8b)

March 3, 2006
3:00 AM

Post #2082860

Lol!! Thank you! The feathered folk seem happy with it too ;)
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 6, 2006
7:16 PM

Post #2091185

I saw a post on another thread that Zeppy said she washes the eggs.
Sometimes when I get dirty eggs, I don't know what to do. I read that if you wash them, it removes the protective coating that keeps bacteria from entering the shell...but then if I DON"T wash them until time to use them, I got something icky in the fridge.

Zeppy, at what stage do you wash them ? I've done it both ways and can't decide how I should do it. Wonder about it every time I crack an egg, whether I'm doing it right or wrong. I'd hate for anyone to get sick because I was too ignorant to know how to handle a fresh egg. :-) Duh !

Anyone else got any comments on how they do it ? Anyone know anything about the egg-wash stuff you can buy, or is it just a gimmick for us dummies ? Seems that soapy water would be just as good.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

March 6, 2006
7:19 PM

Post #2091198

i think if you are referring to the ones that are fertiel that you plan to incubate, you should wipe them off carefully, maybe with a damp towel, and they should NOT be refigerated, but stored in egg containers with the big side up.

if you are ognna eat them, wash and refgireater them, as the coating isn't necessarrry i would think.

hopefully someone else will come along ot clear things up.
Zeppy
Shenandoah Valley, VA
(Zone 6b)

March 6, 2006
7:24 PM

Post #2091209

I have eggs only for eating, and I wash them in a very mild warm soapy water solution. I posted over in Farm Life too, but I think the "bloom" does not come into play in our situation as we eat 'em quickly. I have bought free-range eggs with poop stuck all over them and I think that's just slovenly. Ick. :)
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

March 6, 2006
7:32 PM

Post #2091234

ick, i agree, eating eggs should be clean!
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 7, 2006
3:37 AM

Post #2092330

I agree. I can't handle the idea of what's on the shell of an egg.

So, Zeppy, does that mean that you wash the eggs and then put in fridge to store them until used ?

Those that have a lot of stuff stuck on them, I just throw away. Can't imagine anyone selling something like that. EEEwwwwwe.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

March 7, 2006
3:51 AM

Post #2092357

i woud soak them. i hope i don't hae this problem. my nesting boxes have tiny wire bottoms, & a friend told me not to put any bedding in them, just collect eggs everyday & they would be more clean...
Zeppy
Shenandoah Valley, VA
(Zone 6b)

March 7, 2006
11:07 AM

Post #2092631

Mine almost never have anything on them. If the hens don't roost in or on the edges of the boxes, the eggs should stay clean. On wet days, chicken feet get dirtier, but even so, if they walk through litter and then hop up to the box, there shouldn't be much there. Mine never poop in the box; it's just what tracks in sometimes.
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

March 7, 2006
2:53 PM

Post #2093067

thanks! it will be fall before i get eggs, but i am getting EGG-cited!!!
Zeppy
Shenandoah Valley, VA
(Zone 6b)

March 7, 2006
3:20 PM

Post #2093128

*snort*
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 8, 2006
2:43 PM

Post #2095655

Mine are cleaner now that we have redone the nesting boxes. But still, I can't get past the idea of where the egg has come from, and still have an
irresistable urge to wash them at some point. Since they are pretty clean
now, I've been putting them in fridge as is (away from other food) And then washing them just before I crack them. But I would prefer to wash them 'before' putting them in fridge, but am concerned about the protective coating washing off. I used to do it that way, but once I cracked one and it smelled funny to me, so I stopped. DH thinks I'm obscessed with this, and thinks I just imagined it smelled funny. LOL What's everybody else do ? I may be making way too big a deal out of it, but I got salmonella once when I was a kid... not fun.
Also, I used to work in a pathology lab, so I'm probably way too focused on bacteria. lol

TamaraFaye, I also used to wash with soapy water and then dip them in a weak water/bleach solution, rinse, dry, and store. But the shell is porus
and that concerned me too, so I stopped. I've read that soaking them is not good because of porus shell.

I know I sound like a real goober, but I just don't know if I'm doing it right, and if all I'm doing is really all that necessary. People been eatin fresh eggs forever without this much fuss. Just must be me. lol.

Zeppy
Shenandoah Valley, VA
(Zone 6b)

March 8, 2006
2:45 PM

Post #2095666

I'm sure washing before eating is just fine. I've done it every way and never noticed any difference.
Melissa_Ohio
Southwestern, OH
(Zone 6b)

March 8, 2006
3:18 PM

Post #2095766

My mom never washed the eggs until she was ready to use them. We had a fridge on the porch she kept eggs in, she of course rotated the stock when I gathered fresh eggs, putting the freshest at the bottom... boy I remember getting in trouble for "boxing up" the eggs and not rotating! But, anyway, when she needed eggs, she'd bring a carton in, fill a bowl with water and put them all in it. If any floated, she threw them out. The rest she wiped off with a dish rag, dried them and put them back in the carton if it was clean. If it wasn't clean, she'd get another carton out.

*If* I ever have to worry about having more eggs than I can use in a few days time, I'll probably do the same thing. We have a mini fridge I can put in the barn, gather eggs, put them in a carton right there, and stick them in the fridge.
danak
Olympia, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 9, 2006
8:30 AM

Post #2098018

I always lightly rinse them before putting them away, only in water. I think of it more in aesthetic terms than sanitary terms, perhaps because we've never had any problems with our eggs.

So what are the sanitary concerns with egg *shells*? Isn't it true that salmonells is inside the egg anyway if the hen is infected-- the egg develops with salmonella already inside it? Or am I misled? Or is it something else all together?
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 9, 2006
3:47 PM

Post #2098653

That's a good question. I'm not sure if the salmonella is inside or outside.
I just assumed that if a hen was infected, it would also come out in the droppings, thus being on outside too. Don't know if that's true or not, but I had that notion for some reason (?????)

That's why I love this forum...there's enough banter of information back and forth, it will either educate us, or do us in. LOL. You know the saying, "steel sharpens steel".
echoes
South of Winnipeg, MB
(Zone 3a)

March 9, 2006
4:52 PM

Post #2098835

I think (a loose term) that the salmonella germs are on the shell from passing through the chicken. They can polute to just under the shell. We were told on a public interest segment on TV, not to eat any foods where the the eggs weren't cooked. Like homemade eggnog, etc. If you had a recipe that required raw egg, they were to e dipped in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Don't rely on this as accurate information, as it was a whille ago.

echoes
danak
Olympia, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 9, 2006
6:02 PM

Post #2099004

Okay, I decided to look this up. Both the FDA and the Dept. of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service say that the bacteria can be on the shell or in the yolk. The concern with the bacteria outside the egg was that they can enter the egg through its pores. So I think that once the egg is washed, although the protective coat is removed (which might not be all that protective if that's a route of contamination?), the salmonella are also removed. Commercially, however, the eggs are given a protective oil coating after the initial coating is washed off.

One thing that didn't make sense: they said the yolk is contaminated, but the white has anti-microbial properties, but the bacteria can enter through the pores in the egg to the white. It's still up in the air whether or not the bacteria can be found in the white. (?)

The importance of refrigeration was emphasized as bacteria multiply faster at warmer temperatures. And they said not to eat eggs that were cracked, since the crack provides an opening for shell bacteria to enter. I'm curious how virulent salmonella is: how many bacteria do human need to ingest to get sick? It seems like eggs that have a lot of bacteria in them, multiplying for some time, was the greater concern on these websites, as they emphasized making sure the eggs were fresh.

That said, still only one in tens of thousands of eggs are infected. I read from a not-so-reputable site that organic, free-range type eggs are less likely to have salmonella, but I didn't see any more reliable information to back that up (such as whether salmonalla is even transmitted from chicken to chicken and would be density dependent?). And all that said, salmonella is only a risk in eggs that are not fully cooked anyway.

Hmm, pretty interesting!
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 9, 2006
6:45 PM

Post #2099120

Thanks, that's great info. Thanks for going to all the effort to look it up and inform people like me. I really appreciate everyone's help.

Now...that creates another question...???????
If it's eggs that are not fully cooked, what does that mean for those who like their eggs soft fried with the yolk a little runny ? Is it a hazzard to eat soft fried eggs ? (I love em, but often wonder about it) Gee whiz ! Who woulda thought eatin an egg could get so complicated LOL LOL I've been eating eggs that way all my life. So does that mean it gets just enough heat to kill it when cooking, (which I would'nt think), or does it mean I've just been lucky all these years and not gotten hold of a live wire ?
danak
Olympia, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 9, 2006
10:37 PM

Post #2099682

I think I remember them saying that yolks should be cooked hard, but I eat runny yolks too. :) I also read one place that most people don't eat enough eggs in a lifetime to ever run across an infected one. So I'm not too worried. (I'll probably be a lot more careful someday when I'm pregnant, though. The stronger consequences in that case are not worth even the slight risk.)
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

March 9, 2006
11:04 PM

Post #2099744

i have heard of some folks who are extrememly sensitive to salmonella. i will ikely be one of them! but as a youngster, i licked many a spoon and bowl from cake and cookie batter [another thing they say not to do], and i let my kids do it, it is the "chef's reward" LOL

i appreciate all this information. my 75 chicks will be here in 12 days! i gotta learn everything possible now LOL
danak
Olympia, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 10, 2006
12:28 AM

Post #2099974

Some particular groups are more sensitive, do you mean, or just random people? I know pregnant women are at higher risk because of the effect salmonella can have on the fetus, but I'd be curious to find out more about that, too...

Wow, how exciting on your chicks! What fun!
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 10, 2006
5:36 PM

Post #2101884

I got very , very sick during my last pregnancy. Spent the last two weeks in the hospital, and lost 9 lbs. in my 9th month.
We went up to Queen Wilhemena State Park in Mena, Ark. the first of my 9th month to take that last little trip before the baby came. The spring water at the lodge tasted so good to me, I drank a lot of it while there.

A few days after returning home, I came down with the worst intestinal symptoms you could imagine. I got so dehydrated, they had to admit me to the hospital and keep me there until the baby was large enough to induce labor. They could'nt treat me until the baby was delivered, as the treatment was bad for baby. It was determined that I had a bacterial infection that is commonly found in water. Hhhmmm.

I say all that, to say this. Yep, you definately want to be careful of anything like that during pregnancy. Dangerous for baby, Miserable for you. I wouldn't take a chance...not worth the risk.
Zeppy
Shenandoah Valley, VA
(Zone 6b)

March 10, 2006
5:51 PM

Post #2101938

Hmm. Glad I'm done having babies, then. :)
TamaraFaye
Fritch, TX
(Zone 6b)

March 10, 2006
7:18 PM

Post #2102166

oh, as i recall, tap water of any kind is not recommended for pregnant or lactating moms, but how many people really know that?

glad you adn baby are OK, Peggie!
danak
Olympia, WA
(Zone 7b)

March 11, 2006
5:31 AM

Post #2103864

Wow, so much to think about! Tap water too? My husband and I are thinking of starting a family in the upcoming years and I'm now storing all these tidbits in my mind for future reference. Thanks for your story, Peggie. It reinforces that all these tidbits are serious pieces of advice and not just a complicated set of restrictions to be followed in vain...
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 11, 2006
6:25 PM

Post #2104838

Wish I knew then, what I know now. Sure would have saved me some difficulty.
jslocum207
South Elgin, IL

March 16, 2006
10:27 PM

Post #2117338

I have a small backyard flock of 8 misc. laying hens and 1 little banty rooster.The best way to clean eggs as I have found from many sources is to wash the eggs as soon as you bring them in . The water should be at least 20 degrees warmer than the egg ,this seals the pores in the shell, never use cold water.If the eggs are dirty at all, you then make a weak bleach solution with warm water and dip the eggs briefly. Make sure the eggs are dry before you refrigerate them I hope this is helpful.
PeggieK
Claremore, OK
(Zone 6a)

March 17, 2006
7:41 PM

Post #2119193

Thanks jslocum207. that sounds like a good way to kill bacteria on the shell and have them conveniently ready for use. How long will they keep if you do it that way ? I thought of doing it that way, but was worried about washing off the protective coating and reducing their shelf life also,.
This definately sounds like a way I'd like to do it. I would like to have them clean in my fridge, and have them ready to crack and use with no further fuss. Bleach is th' bomb for me. I wash everything (food areas) off with bleach a lot. Do you think it would hurt to dip all of them (in bleach solution) after washing as part of the routine ?
jslocum207
South Elgin, IL

March 17, 2006
9:09 PM

Post #2119385

Peggy, I have had eggs in my fridge for a couple months and never had a problem.I'm sure they are still fresher than store bought!! No it wouldn't hurt to dip them all, I just bob them up and down a couple times ,let them dry and your'e done. I have some new pullets and one of the naughty girls likes to partially eat the eggs , sometimes I have a mess in the nesting box. If there are any intact eggs I feel the bleach method is the most sanitizing.(I guess she doesn't bother to bleach them before she eats them-bad girl!!!)
Zeppy
Shenandoah Valley, VA
(Zone 6b)

March 17, 2006
10:50 PM

Post #2119569

Hey, jslocum, watch out: the others might get ideas and start eating the eggs, too. I hear that putting a few wooden eggs in the box will quickly discourage them. Haven't had any egg eaters yet myself, so I can't testify to it.

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