University of Maryland Extension

Cracking Open the Egg

Image result for cracked eggs

Did you know that on average, a hen produces an egg every 25 hours? Producing fresh, home grown eggs is one of the top reasons for having a small flock. It is also an excellent way to save money while providing food for the table! Eggs are wonderful for throwing together a quick, healthy meal. Eggs are one of the safest animal foods (American, 1994). The shell protects and defends against dirt and other foreign materials. However, if the egg is not properly handled or cleaned, bacteria can gain entry into the egg due to the shell being porous. For a slightly dirty egg, rub clean with a piece of fine grain sandpaper. For a very dirty egg, rinse the egg with hot water (cooler water forces bacteria through the shell into the egg) and food safe detergent (Damerow, 1995). By washing the egg in hot water with a food safe detergent, it helps maintin a clean egg. Store bought eggs are white in color, but an egg's natural color is determined by the breed of the hen along with her diet. Depending on the hen, an egg could be brown or even green in color! 

American Egg Board. The Egg Handling & Care Guide. 1994. p1-2
Damerow, Gail. 1995 Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing. p136
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