Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Washing Stinky Eggs

I have tried to keep my chicken world as natural as is practical. I feed them layer pellets, table scraps, and black oil sunflower seed. I let them roam a quarter acre chicken run all day so they can do what comes naturally.

When they got ready to lay eggs I started researching egg handling methods. There are two basic approaches recommended by practitioners.

  • Wash, rinse, sanitize, and refrigerate the eggs. This is the practice of the big operations that sell eggs to the market. Small Texas farmers who sell eggs directly to consumers appear to be exempt.
  • Wash poo-crusted eggs, flick spotty eggs, otherwise leave the bloom intact. Do not refrigerate the eggs. This is the practice of many backyard chicken owners.
I went with the backyard method since it kept the natural antibacterial barrier intact. Truth be told, I have lots of important stuff to do am lazy and this is less work.

I noticed a funny smell in my kitchen near the eggs. I eliminated the kitchen chemicals, dirty dishes, and moldy leftovers other stuff. The weird "chemical" smell was coming from my eggs!

I searched around and found a handy site on egg quality. It described a number of causes and remedies. After a bit of introspection I had to reluctantly agree that I should wash my eggs.

I am going to start washing and refrigerating my eggs every day. Real soon now.

Update: I learned that the funny smell was coming from a hidden pool of gunk. I now keep my bloom-intact eggs on the counter for up to 10 days. After that, I take steps to use them.

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