Clean Egg Production

Clean egg production is much easier than physical cleaning of dirty eggs. It involves simple rules of good management of chickens and proper handling of eggs to prevent contamination and deterioration in the quality of eggs. This ensures safety of the consumers.
•    Raise the flock in an enclosed area to protect the birds from disease causing micro-organisms and make egg collection easier.
•    Keep the shed area clean and dry. Use clean hay or wood shavings as litter to ensure that the floors are not wet or muddy.
•    Provide one nest for every 3 to 4 hens and ensure the nests are large enough for the hens. In the nest, keep a thick layer of clean hay or wood shavings to protect the eggs from cracking or breaking. Clean the nests every week and change the nesting material.
•    Provide a perch or roosts that are higher than the nesting box and they should be placed away from the nesting box to prevent the chickens from sleeping in the nests.
•    Control rats, rodents, insects and wild birds in the poultry house because they can transmit diseases to the flock.
•    Collect the eggs often, at least twice daily. Eggs that stay in the nests for a long time have increased chance of becoming dirty, broken or cracked. Use a clean basket or plastic egg trays to collect eggs. Discard eggs with cracked shell.
•    Eggs from hens that are under treatment should also be discarded because they are not suitable for sale or for human consumption until the recommended withholding period for the drug is over.
•    Washing of dirty eggs is not recommended because it destroys the protective coating that prevents entry of microbes into the egg. A hand brush may be used to remove any debris on the eggs.
•    In case you wish to wash dirty eggs, use water that is about 200F warmer than the eggs. Using cooler water will cause the egg contents to contract producing a vacuum that will pull water and contaminants through the shell into the egg. Cleaning detergents specifically designed for eggs may be used followed by rinsing in water which should be warmer than the cleaning detergent.
•    Store dry eggs with the narrow ends facing down in egg trays. Keep the trays in a cool and dry place, avoid extreme temperature fluctuations. Do not store eggs near materials with strong odours such as fish because the eggs will absorb that odour.
•    Because fertilized eggs have short shelf life, do not store them for more than 14 days.

More in this category: « Layer Poultry Feeding
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