Country Traditions

October 1, 2010

Keeping Chickens Mite Free

Filed under: animals, chickens — Tags: , , , , — dmacc502 @ 7:03 pm
A photo of chickens drinking water

Image via Wikipedia

Keep you hen houses and your chickens free from mites.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/outdoors/8036501/Keeping-chickens-mighty-mites.html#mce_temp_url#

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September 28, 2010

Minestrone Soup With Chicken

Filed under: chickens, freezing food, herbs, recipes — Tags: , , , — dmacc502 @ 11:14 am
self-made bouillon de volaille (chicken broth).

Image via Wikipedia

This hearty Italian soup is a contemporary version of a soup that required hours on the stovetop. This recipe calls for canned beans, chicken broth, and tomatoes, which allow you to prepare this entrée soup in just 15 minutes. While the soup cooks, heat a loaf of crusty bread and toss a green salad to make the healthful meal complete.

Ingredients

    1 tbsp. olive oil
    1 carrot, cut into 1/8-inch slices
    ¼ c. minced onion
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    Two 14 ½-ounce cans chicken broth
    One 14 ½-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
    One 14 ½-ounce cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (see Tip)
    4 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into ½-inch squares
    1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch slices
    ½ c. elbow macaroni
    2 tbsp. minced fresh basil, or ½ tsp. dried
    1 tbsp. minced fresh oregano, or ½ tsp. dried
    ¼ tsp. pepper, or to taste
    Salt to taste
    Freshly ground pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

Preparation

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the carrot, onion, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until the carrot is crisp-tender and the onion is translucent and not browned.

Stir in the chicken broth and tomatoes with juice; bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the beans, chicken, zucchini, macaroni, dried basil and oregano (if using), and pepper. When the liquid returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium; cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the pasta and vegetables are tender. Stir in the fresh basil and oregano (if using). Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Advance Preparation

This soup will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days.

http://www.kpho.com/food/1941143/detail.html?treets=pho&tml=pho_food&ts=T&tmi=pho_food_1_11000209282010

September 26, 2010

CHICKEN COOPS

Filed under: animals, chickens — Tags: , , , , — dmacc502 @ 9:52 am

Another view of my coop above – I lucked out in finding a few stacks of new shingles to use! I also saved extra space inside the coop by building the nest boxes on the outside – you can see the row of nest boxes in the picture, jutting out on the right side (which is actually the back of the coop). There are 8 total boxes for them to choose from.


CHICKEN NEST BOXES
The suggested size for chicken nest boxes is 15″ wide, 15″ high and 11 1/8″ (see picture for example). This can vary to a certain extent. My nest boxes are about 2″ smaller than this and work just fine. You can fill your boxes with straw or place some type of padding down on the bottom so the eggs won’t crack when they lay. I noticed that they tend to kick and scratch a lot of straw out of the boxes so I stapled a piece of padding onto the bottom.

I started off with 8 chickens and made a nest box for each chicken. It turns out they all used the same 2 nest boxes for laying eggs! I’ve even seen 3 chickens in the same nest box at the same time – therefore, you don’t need to make too many boxes. They tend to gravitate toward the same box. If you have a big flock – you’ll need to make more. In some of the links I’ve provided, there are some excellent pictures of nest boxes, diagrams, and “how-to” instructions for building nest boxes. A view of a couple of my nest boxes is pictured above.

CHICKEN ROOSTS
A 2″ by 4″ or 2″ by 2″ board works nicely as a roost. You can also use a tree branch measuring between 3″ to 6.” I used a 2 x 4 and rounded off the edges with a circular saw, and these are working like a champ. This step is not necessary, but I’ve found that they are able to grip onto the roost better when it’s slightly rounded. A view of my roost and walkway leading to the roost is pictured above.

I made sure to place the roosts where the droppings are not in my way when I enter the coop so I don’t have to clean it off my shoes after being inside. Depending on the type of coop you build, you may also want to consider positioning the roosts where you can easily clean up the droppings.

Chickens seem to like roosting higher in the coop at night, so I positioned mine about 4 feet off the ground. I then constructed a walkway leading up to the roost since we clipped their wings (more on this in a bit). It’s basically an 8″ wide board which angles up from the floor to the roost with some make shift “steps” nailed on and spaced every 6″ or so – something they can use to “grip” onto as they walk up.

Back to wing clipping, just briefly – we clipped the outer part of the wings – on one side only. Don’t worry – this does not involve pain for the chickens in any way, and it prevents them from taking flight. When the wings are clipped, it’s done toward the outer part of the wing where there is no blood supply. We didn’t clip their wings at first because we thought it would hurt them. They kept flying over the fence, however, and and we lost one to a neighborhood dog. Thus, the wing clipping, and consequent ramp from the floor to the roost inside the coop. There is a great illustration on wing clipping at http://www.backyardchickens.com.

CHICKEN FEEDER
The farm stores all carry a nice selection of chicken feeders and water containers but they can be rather expensive. I made a 5 gallon feeder and waterer using two 5 gallon buckets I got for free at our local grocery store – usually the bakery or deli section – and two 20 inch plastic planter bases. The plastic planter bases cost around $5.00 – I purchased mine from a garage sale. Of course, any local retailer such as Walmart, Target, or your local hardware store or nursery would carry them as well. The 5 gallon feeder I’m currently using is pictured above – after filling it with feed, it will last about 3 weeks for 13 chickens.

How it’s done: To make the Chicken feeder – drill several holes about 1 1/2″ in diameter around the bottom of the bucket. Make sure the bottom edge of the holes are no higher up than 1/2″ from the very bottom of the bucket. Next – place the bucket in the bottom of the plant base so the top of the bucket is still up. Don’t throw away the lid – you’ll still need it. Make sure the bucket is centered as best as possible in the plant bottom and then screw it in place using 3 or 4 screws until it is secure. That’s it! just pour in the feed and put the lid on and you’ve got 5 gallons worth of feed. I’m guessing this would be roughly 20 lbs of feed since it holds just under half of a 50lb bag of chicken feed in my feeder. I place my feeder on top of 2 concrete blocks – chickens are sloppy eaters and this helps prevent feed spillage. I’ve seen other people hang their feeders a few inches off the ground with rope. The suggested distance off the ground is about the height of the chickens back.

CHICKEN WATER CONTAINER
For the waterer, it’s the same method except you only need to drill one or two small holes (1/4″ or so) near the base of the bucket – and drill them around 1″ up from bottom of the bucket. You can vary the height or distance from the bottom of the bucket a little, but make sure the hole does not lie above the rim of the planter base – If you do, all the water will overflow out of the trough.

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUILDING A CHICKEN COOP
Dimensions: Each chicken requires 3 to 4 square feet of space – this will need to be taken into account when designing your coop so you don’t make it too small. I would suggest making it a little bigger than you need since, if you’re like me, you’ll want to purchase more chickens each year.

Climate: Build your coop to suit the climate of your area. If you live in a warm climate, you will need to make sure there is plenty of ventilation to keep your chickens cool. In cold climates, it’s important to keep out the draft and to make sure it’s warm enough so that the drinking water doesn’t freeze. An insulated coop will ensure the coop isn’t drafty either. But you’ll still want good ventilation, however, to ensure that fresh air can move in and out of the coop – minimizing the likelihood of your chickens getting sick.

Elevated Coop: An optional part of the design is elevating your coop. Having it elevated can help with the flooding rains and keep it cooler in the summer heat. It also gives the chickens a shady place to go during the day. I elevated my coop and noticed I’ve never had any rodents in it either – I’m not sure it’s a way to fool proof your coop from rodents or predators, but it probably helps to some degree.

Location: If you live in the city, check your city regulations. Sometimes, they require you to be at least 5 ft from the property line. Also, try to make a coop that won’t be offensive to your neighbors. It doesn’t have to be as pretty as the home you live in, but not too unsightly so as to reduce property values. Keeping on top of the smell is also key, since you don’t want to damage relationships with your neighbors.

It’s beneficial for the chickens to have adequate sunlight as well – for staying warmer in cold climates and for maximum egg production. Putting a window on the south side would allow for the light to enter the coop all day.

Deep Litter Method
You’ll also have to consider if you’re going to clean out the droppings on a regular basis or if you want to use the “deep litter” method, which is less maintenance. This is important to consider for designing the floor of your coop. Some people prefer to use a chicken wire floor so the droppings fall into a container under the coop for easier cleaning, less odor in the coop, and a way to regularly stay on top of the cleaning.

With the deep litter method, you essentially have around 4-8 inches of wood pellets, wood (pine) shavings, or other bedding on the floor of the coop. Every few days you’ll want to use a rake or shovel to stir the droppings on the top into the bedding underneath. The chickens do this on their own, but you’ll want to rake it in a bit deeper and more evenly across the whole floor.

The bedding/droppings will begin to decompose underneath. As this happens, the amount or level of bedding starts to shrink down. As this happens, you’ll simply add another inch (or more) of bedding so you’ll always have about 4-8 inches. By using this method, the odor is minimal. You really only need to clean the entire coop out once or twice a year.

I use the deep litter method and highly recommend it – it saves me a lot of time, and I can use that rich compost for our garden once it’s done! I buy 40 lb bags of wood pellets for my coop – most large retailers i.e. Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes will carry some. It may be that they only stock up on wood pellets during the winter so it may help to call the store in advance. Another great place to get pellets is at farm stores, and they usually carry them all year long. However, the price may be a bit higher.

I start off pouring a few bags on the floor until I get about 5 inches of pellets, spread evenly across the floor. I occasionally (once a week) rake the droppings on top, into the pellets underneath. Then I periodically add another bag of pellets – about every 3 monts on average.

I usually know when it’s time to add another bag of bedding – when the coop starts to smell a little and just raking the droppings into the bedding underneath is not working to eliminate this odor anymore. After a year, I simply clean it all out and start the process over again. You can find more information on this process at http://www.backyardchickens.com which, by the way, is an excellent overall resource for all things related to chicken care.

Predator Control
If you live in an area near dogs, coyotes, racoons, skunks, mountain lions, fisher cats, red tailed hawks, or bears (the most common predators), you’ll want to make sure to make your coop is predator proof. For an outpen made of chicken wire or bird netting, you should embed the material 8″-12″ below the ground around the perimeter of the pen to prevent the would-be predator from digging in.

If your coop is fenced in with woven wire farm fencing (or any other type of farm fencing), it is a good idea to place either a strand of electric wire or barbed wire around the perimeter a few inches off the ground on the outside of the fence. Again, this will deter predators from entering.

http://www.freechickencoopplans.com/

Raising Chickens

Filed under: animals, chickens — Tags: , , , — dmacc502 @ 9:42 am
An A-frame chicken coop in a Portland, Oregon ...

Image via Wikipedia

A good way to get started is to buy baby chicks. They are usually available from feed stores in early Spring. You can also start by getting fertilized eggs and keeping them in an incubator until they hatch. Either way, you will need to get a brooder and keep it in the house or put it out in the garage where cats and other predators can’t get at the chicks. Sometimes equipment leasing might be necessary. For heat, be aware that chicks need 95 degrees for the first week. You can drop this by 5 degrees every week until they’re 6 weeks old. Then they are fairly feathered out and unless you live in a very cold area, they are able to withstand normal temperatures.

If you don’t have a formal brooder, your heat source is usually a light bulb or heat-lamp. Be careful with these not to leave them low enough for the chicks to burn themselves. Also, especially with heat-lamps, be careful that the bedding can’t catch fire.

Fresh water should be available to the chicks at all times. As an energy supplement, I add one tablespoon of sugar per quart the first time I water newly hatched chicks.

A chick starter feed should be fed to all chicks until they are 6 weeks of age. You can get this at your local feed store. After this time, feed them a pullet grower feed until about 20 weeks. Then they can be switched to a laying feed.

Bedding For Chicks

Never start young chicks on a slippery surface such as newspaper. If you are using newspaper as bedding, for the first 4 days spread paper towels over it. Be careful using wood shavings on young chicks until they learn what their food is. They may start eating them which will block them up and kill them.

My favorite surface is wire! I take a piece of hardware cloth or an old window screen and cut it to the dimensions of the brooder. Then I put down a layer of newspaper and lay the wire on it. At cleaning time I just lift out the wire and hose it down, replacing a clean layer of newspaper beneath it. Be careful to make sure there are no sharp wires to hurt their feet. Either bend the edges under or tape them up.

Inside The Coop

As the chickens mature, you will need to provide them with a shelter that meets their basic needs. The ideal chicken coop will protect chickens from rain, wind, and temperature extremes. There should be perches adequately spaced and arranged so that the chickens can perch comfortably.
Chickens do better when they roost at night up off the ground. And they’re happier, also. It is the natural way for a bird to sleep. It helps prevent external parasites and keeps them from lying in their own droppings. You also don’t want them to start sleeping in the nest boxes. These are for egg-laying, and we really don’t want to collect our eggs out of a nest that’s been slept in by a chicken, do we? (Chickens aren’t house trainable!)   Some kind of litter such as straw or wood shavings should be spread underneath the perches and needs to be changed when it becomes wet or soiled. A mixture of straw and chicken manure is ideal for garden compost.

Special Accommodations For Egg Layers

Hens for laying will be benefited by special nesting boxes. These should be constructed so that they don’t serve well as perches but will appeal to the natural instincts of a hen when she becomes “broody” especially if you want your hen to incubate a batch of fertilized eggs. The nesting boxes need to be somewhat enclosed and nest like.  Hens are known to lay eggs and establish a brood wherever they feel conditions are best. Sometimes they have to be coaxed into using the nesting boxes by using artificial eggs.

Clever arrangements such as a rear trap door can facilitate the gathering of eggs for eating. A laying hen will produce an egg every one to two days. Frequent gathering will assure freshness, keep eggs clean and minimize breakage.

All chickens lay eggs in a series – never more than one or two per day. If the eggs are not collected, and a sufficient number of eggs are allowed to remain in the nest, the hen may stop laying eggs and start brooding. When the hen leaves the nest after laying an egg, it cools which suspends the development of the embryo inside. If the ambient temperature remains between 45F and 65F, the embryos will remain viable for as long as two weeks. When the hen becomes broody and sits on her eggs for three weeks, all of the eggs will hatch at about the same time.

The hen does not start to incubate the eggs until the whole clutch is laid.  The physiology of a hen changes after she’s laid her clutch. She will remain on them, with her wings slightly spread to help keep them warm, for 21 days. She will make muttering, growling sounds if disturbed, and may even peck or otherwise try to defend her nest. She will only leave the nest once a day to eat, drink and defecate. You should make sure the hen does do this at least every other day so she will not either starve or get the eggs dirty with her droppings. (Broody droppings usually come out in one large, very bad-smelling glob.)

Once the chicks start to hatch she will remain on the nest with them for 24-48 hours. Any eggs that have not hatched by then will be left behind when she takes the chicks for their first walk. At this time water and chick feed should be available for the chicks.

A hen is also called broody when she is raising her chicks, protecting them, teaching them to find food, and hovering over them to keep them warm.

“Breaking Up” A Broody Hen

When we remove the eggs, the hen supposes: “There are not yet enough,” and continues to lay.  We don’t always want to have our hens hatching eggs. When we want to stop one, this is called “breaking up” a broody. Sometimes just putting her in a pen where she can’t see her old nest and keeping her there for 4 days will do the job. She should, of course, have feed and water. Some strong broodies will just continue to set even in a pen with no eggs. For the more stubborn hen, a wire-bottomed cage is necessary. The airflow up through the wire keeps her underside cool and after a few days she will usually give up. Again, she should have feed and water available at all times. Some commercial people and old-time chicken raisers deprive a hen of feed and water when trying to break her up, but this is cruel and also not good for the bird. Lack of feed weakens an already weak bird (since they don’t eat much when broody anyway) and lack of water for several days can damage the liver.

The Hen’s Cackle

Wild chickens are forest animals. They live in small groups called flocks. They scratch in the dirt and forage for things to eat. While one hen sits on the nest to lay, the group may wander away through the undergrowth searching for food. The hen’s cackle serves to renew the contact with the group as if to yell “where are you?”. The cock (with the other hens) answers “here we are!”.

The Yard

Various arrangements are possible for the poultry yard. The basic requirement is a good fence to keep predators (sometimes including family pets) from getting in. Sometimes a yard will be split into two halves with a gate connecting the two. The chickens are kept in the first half while a green cover crop grows in the second half. When the crop matures, the chickens are moved into the second half where they can nibble on the greens. In the mean time a new crop is started in the first half.

If you’re going to introduce chicks over 6 weeks old to an older flock of birds, here is a good way to make sure they can get enough feed. In your chicken yard or coop, construct an area that you can keep a supply of grower feed and water in. It should have entrance holes that are too small for the older birds to get in. Confine the young birds in there for a few days (at least during the day– you could return them to the brooder at night). They’ll learn where the food is and when you open the entrances they will soon start going out. The older birds will pick on them, but it should be fine as the chicks will have a safe refuge to retreat to.

Feed

Feeds are available to suit the changing needs of the chickens. Chicks can be fed a starter mix until they are feathered out. Then they can be fed maintenance feed until they start laying. Layers can be fed egg booster and scratch.   Feed comes in 3 forms: mash, crumbles and pellets. Mash is powdery, just as it sounds. Pellets are made of compressed mash, and crumbles of broken up pellets. I find mash wasteful and never use it. I use crumbles for my chicks and pellets for the older birds. Then when they kick it out of the feeders they can still pick it up. Some feeds are medicated. Coccidiosis is a disease that can kill chicks that have not built up a resistance to it. They can pick it up outside from the droppings of other birds. If your chicks go outside you may want to give them a feed medicated with Amprolium, which controls the coccidiosis while allowing the birds to build up a resistance. Some medicated chick feeds are sold with antibiotics in them. There is no need to waste money on these. Note: Don’t feed medicated feeds to ducklings. They eat much more than chicks and can overdose and die.

Adequate storage is needed for the feed to keep it dry and keep rodents out. The galvanized trashcan is ideal. Chickens like other birds need a supply of grit for digestion.

Grit

What is grit? It is small stones that the bird stores in its gizzard, where they act like teeth and are used to grind up food.  For chicks, grit is only necessary  if the chicks have access to grain or other foodstuffs. Chicks on mash or crumbles don’t need it. You can get a chick-sized granite grit through your feed store. I sometimes use old aquarium gravel if it’s small enough. Warning: Do NOT give chicks oystershell. It is not grit, it is used to give laying hens extra calcium for egg shell production. This extra calcium will cause bone development problems in young birds.

http://www.thefarm.org/charities/i4at/lib2/chickens.htm

September 17, 2010

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Filed under: chickens, recipes — Tags: , , , — dmacc502 @ 12:14 pm

Always busy

Chicken Pot Pie … three words of yummy comfort. This is my own recipe, its easy to make and contains a minimum of ingredients.  You can substitute other vegetables for the carrots and peas, and you can add in any other seasoning or herb that you like.  We especially like it with fresh thyme.

You will need:

3 cups of cooked, de-boned, whole chicken meat
3 ribs celery chopped finely
1 small onion, chopped finely
3 medium carrots, chopped finely
1/2 cup green peas
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or other herb to flavor. If using dried herbs only use 1/2 teaspoon

1 Recipe Medium White Sauce
1/4 cup Butter
1/4 cup Flour (whole wheat or other flours are OK to use)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 cups Milk (any milk, even soy will work)

8 biscuits – homemade or canned

Preheat oven to 400*F
Spray an 8 inch iron skillet with cooking oil.

Make the Medium White Sauce…..
On the stove top, over medium high heat in a heavy bottomed pan, heat the butter until it bubbles.
Add the flour and salt, stir until the flour is golden brown.
Whisk in the milk until the mixture is thick, lower heat and cook 2 minutes.

To the white sauce add all the other ingredients. Add fresh thyme leaves, salt and pepper to taste.
At this point, if your sauce is too thick, you can add milk to thin. Even though we may all follow the same recipe, ingredients are different, stove temperatures are different, and that’s why recipes turn out differently sometimes…
Heat over low heat, stirring, until it is hot through.
Pour the filling into an 8 inch iron skillet that has been sprayed with cooking oil.
Top with biscuits.
Bake in the 400*F oven until the biscuits are done through and golden on top

http://christianhomekeeper.org/

September 14, 2010

The Ultimate Chicken Stock

Filed under: chickens, recipes — Tags: , , , — dmacc502 @ 4:58 pm
This is a curly leaved parsley plant (the comm...

Image via Wikipedia

THE ULTIMATE CHICKEN STOCK
makes 3-4 quarts

Note: This recipe calls for no salt. It’s generally best to add salt once you know how it’s going to be used. If you salt your stock and then reduce it for a demi-glâce or a sauce, you may find it way too salty.

2-3 pounds bony chicken parts, including necks, backs, wings and feet
gizzards from one chicken, optional
4 quarts cold filtered water
2 tablespoons organic cider vinegar
1 large onion, skin on and coarsely chopped
3 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
1-2 leeks, white and light green part only, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1 bunch parsley

Cut chicken parts into several smaller pieces. Place in a large stainless steel pot with the water, vinegar and vegetables (except the parsley). Let stand for 40 minutes. Bring to a boil, and skim off and discard any scum that rises to the top. Then reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer for as few as 6 or up to 24 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be.

About 10 minutes before taking the stock off the heat, stir in the bunch of parsley. This imparts additional minerals to the stock. Turn the heat off, and allow to cool slightly before removing chicken pieces with a slotted spoon.

Pour the stock through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl or jar and refrigerate, covered. A layer of fat will rise to the top and congeal. Skim off this fat and save to use if you like. (I keep mine in a jar in the fridge, using it to roast vegetables, fry potatoes or baste roasting chicken.) Reserve the stock in covered containers in your fridge or freezer. It will keep in your fridge for 3-4 days; if you want to keep it there longer, you need to boil it again. In the freezer it will keep for several months, but you will use it up before then: in soups, sauces, rice, etc.

September 12, 2010

Collect, Clean and Store Chicken Eggs

Filed under: animals, chickens — Tags: , , — dmacc502 @ 11:26 pm
Chicken eggs

Image via Wikipedia

Are those pretty layers that you bought in spring starting to lay eggs? Wondering what the best way is to clean them? It isn’t quite as straightforward as you think, and different sources give differing opinions on the best way to clean chicken eggs.

Gathering the Eggs

First things first. Before you worry about cleaning them, you have to gather the eggs. There are things you can do to make sure that the eggs you gather are as clean as possible, minimizing the amount of cleaning you must do.

Keep nest boxes well-feathered. Make sure the hens’ nest boxes have plenty of shavings or straw lining them. If there’s poop in the nest boxes, clean it out well when you collect the eggs and replace the straw or shavings. Likewise, if a hen has broken an egg, clean out the mess thoroughly, removing all wet or soiled straw.

Gather eggs early and often. One of the biggest reasons for poopy or broken eggs is allowing them to sit overnight in the nest boxes. Some of my hens seem to prefer to roost on the edges of the nest boxes, or even in them! (Bad hens!) Overnight, they poop on the eggs if there are any in the boxes, or step on them, breaking the shells. This makes for a lot more work if we miss a day of egg collecting. If you can manage it, collecting eggs twice a day can help keep them really clean, and also discourages egg eating.

Cleaning the Eggs

Before you submerge the freshly collected eggs in ice water, wait! Cold water actually causes the pores in an eggshell to pull bacteria from the surface in through the shell and into the egg, where you don’t want it. What’s more, unwashed eggs have a natural antibacterial coating called bloom.

Dry cleaning. If possible, dry clean your eggs. This means using something abrasive to rub off any dirt or poop until the egg is clean. This method preserves most of the bloom intact. Use a sanding sponge, loofah, sandpaper, or abrasive sponge of some kind to dry clean your eggs. Be sure to sanitize the sanding sponge, or whatever you’re using to clean the eggs, occasionally.

Wet cleaning. If your eggs are just too gross to dry clean (they sometimes get egg yolk from a broken egg on them, and once dried, this is impossible to remove dry), you can use water to clean them. Make sure to use water that is warmer than the egg temperature – medium warmth, not hot, but not tepid, either.

Do not immerse the eggs in water or let them stand in water. We wash the eggs under running water from the faucet. Another method is to spray the eggs in washer flats or wire baskets with warm water, let them sit, then wipe them with a dry paper towel one at a time. Place clean eggs into another basket or flat.

Follow this with a sanitizing spray, using bleach diluted in water for the spray mixture. Then allow the eggs to dry on a rack or in a basket or washer flat.

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