DocDoesFarming wrote: ↑
Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:54 am
Most of our chickens don't use the laying boxes we have and instead use this one corner by the door so sometimes they get dirty from the other hens trying t lay their own if we haven't had time to collect them.
I've stuck loads of straw there to try and keep them as clean as possible although maybe I need to do something to dissuade them from using that area or I just need to shift the current box to that area??
So for the time being it's ok to wash the occasional egg with warm water until they start using the laying box properly?
Yes, you can wash with warm water, but then it's better to keep the washed eggs in the fridge. Alternatively, you can wash them right before you eat them.
It's probably the easiest to move the nesting box to where your chickens have chosen. Keeping the path the chickens take to the nesting area clean and dry with extra bedding also helps clean off their feet on their way to lay.
If you'd like them to lay in their boxes where they currently are, you can try the egg trick that VanillaEssence mentioned. You can also use fake eggs, or I've heard of people using golf balls. I collected some egg-shaped rocks from the beach to use on our chickens, but they all dutifully laid in the same basket from the start.
Also consider what makes the corner more attractive than their current boxes. Is it darker, less visible?
As for washing eggs, I don't wash any of our eggs mostly because I'm super lazy. I will give them a quick wipe with a paper towel. I tried using sandpaper to remove dried dirt and poop, but I found it very hard to not sand away the shell also. Not to mention, it's more work. I haven't found anything saying that eggs must be washed before selling, so I don't.
The very clean eggs get sold for about 60yen a piece. The eggs with a small stain or two get sold for half off, or given as return gifts. The very dirty eggs we use ourselves or give to people who don't mind. This system is working for us so far, but we are only dealing with 10-15 eggs per day.
Some people have told us that they always wash their eggs before they eat them. Maybe it's a common sense thing to wash right before you eat them raw...we don't and we are fine so far.
We did find a formula in a JA manual for calculating the expiration date for eggs depending on the storage temperature. I don't remember it saying if it was for washed or unwashed. I'll dig it up and post it later...