Farm eggs, dirty?!

beautiful fresh eggs

Lately, someone on social media commented that they can never use farm-fresh eggs, no matter how much they would like to, because they’re so dirty and full of gunk. As you may imagine, I couldn’t just scroll by. It seemed almost tragic to me that someone should miss out on the goodness of farm eggs because of an unfounded prejudice, or because they chanced to run into a dirty dozen.

My family has consumed mostly home-grown eggs for over ten years. For the most part, our eggs are absolutely pristine. The picture above shows the eggs as collected – I never wash eggs because the eggshell is porous, and washing can push any contaminants into the egg.

I often pull the eggs straight from under a hen and hold them against my cheek because they’re so nice and warm (yep. Really! It’s one of the weird things I never thought I’d admit). You can bet I wouldn’t do that with an egg that isn’t perfectly clean.

Of course, we do get the occasional dirty egg, especially on rainy days. But overall, our eggs are lovely and clean. There’s just absolutely no reason why farm or homegrown eggs should be dirtier than factory eggs.

In some cases, though, farm eggs may end up extra dirty because ofú:

a) A very crowded coop and not enough nesting boxes

b) not enough lining in the nesting boxes

c) letting eggs pile up

All of the above can lead to eggs breaking and making a mess over any other eggs next to them. I have one nesting box for 3-4 layers, I line the boxes with plenty of straw, and I collect eggs at least once a day. It makes for nice, fresh, clean, and healthy eggs.

Disclaimer: even clean eggs may carry contaminants. I advise only consuming thoroughly cooked eggs, regardless of their source.


Author: Anna

An Orthodox Jewish wife and mother enjoying a simple life with her family and chickens, somewhere in the hills, in Israel.

8 thoughts on “Farm eggs, dirty?!”

  1. When my niece was a teenager her family had chickens and she refused to eat the eggs! I told her how much better they are than store bought eggs but she just thought it was gross and so her parents would buy eggs for her. Funny the strange ideas we get sometimes!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anna, I hope you are well and safe. Your post on cleanliness of eggs is interesting. If you are living in a hot, dry environment without much rain, it is of course much easier to keep eggs clean. In the UK we often have long periods of relentless rain, and as our small flock of hens are fully free range their muddy feet do make the eggs dirty. We have plenty of nesting boxes (about 1 to each four birds) and use fresh bedding and collect at least once a day, but they are still grubby in the winter? We dry wipe as much as possible but have to wash some as not all our customers are as relaxed about it as we are!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your insight, Seth! Of course, in rainier weather eggs may get dirty more often. I think it also depends on the terrain where your hens range – grass vs. mud, etc. We’ve had an unusually rainy season and got the occasional grubby egg, but I’d still feel comfortable gifting most of them (we don’t sell).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Several people in my rural area sell eggs and I have bought them sometimes over the years. My big problem with them is not that they’re dirty (although they often are), but that they are no fresher than store bought eggs. I guess this makes sense since the seller is going to put out the oldest eggs for sale first. But I got truly fresh eggs so rarely that I finally stopped buying them from neighbors and went back to the grocery store.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cate, for sure, if I were buying farm eggs I’d expect freshness! Our eggs are only for the family, but I’ve had people ask me about buying often, and I don’t imagine eggs would keep around here long enough to get old. But I guess that depends on the farmer’s supply vs demand.

      Liked by 1 person

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