Wet, snowy, rainy weather.
The hens high-tail it indoors, keep to their coop and between muddy feet and poop, their nests are pretty gross.
It’s a recipe for dirty eggs.
Adding fresh straw regularly helps, but those nests can easily be dirty in a day.
Here’s what I do:
First, clean eggs, without marks, get put away.
Then, with a clean, damp rag, wipe off any minor marks on relatively clean eggs.
Those are now clean.
*If an egg is clean, avoid washing or wetting the eggs as they have what’s called the ‘bloom’ or protective coating that keeps air and bacteria out of the egg.
When you wash the bloom off, the egg can now absorb bacteria and odors.
In most countries, eggs are sold unrefrigerated and unwashed, to be sure the bloom is intact.
It’s illegal in some countries to wash eggs before selling to consumers.
Bloom intact, unwashed eggs can be stored at room temperature for up to two weeks.
(*Personally, although I do keep quite a few of my eggs on my counter at room temp, I only use them when I know they’ll be thoroughly cooked or baked.)
Now for the dirty stuff.
*Be prepared to touch dirty eggs.
It’s part of farm life and your hands really are washable.
I recommend using a cool wet paper towel (or clean wash rag that you’ll launder well or with bleach later.)
Wipe the egg down, rinsing well under cold or lukewarm water. (This helps keep the shell’s pores closed to bacteria infiltrating the egg.)
Washed eggs will often be left with a stained shell. That’s okay.
I then rinse again in warm water, and set them to dry on a towel.
When dry, they’re placed in cartons in the fridge.
Fresh, refrigerated eggs can last for months and months.
In my own home, the dirty eggs, even though washed, are not used in things like say, raw cookie dough, which may or may not get eaten by the spoonful before baking.
And a couple of links on storing eggs to check out, if you like: