We’ve just started keeping chickens, and love having fresh eggs every day. The only problem is that the eggs are sometimes mucky, and look unappetising. What is the best way to clean them?

Anne Perdeaux says:

Ideally eggs shouldn’t be washed, so prevention is better than cure. Make sure the nest material is kept clean, and the hens aren’t roosting in the nest-boxes (chickens like to roost high, so perches should preferably be higher than the nest-boxes). Some people fit a ‘night door,’ to keep the birds out of the nests at bedtime. Try to keep the henhouse and the surrounding area clean, so that the hens don’t go into the nest-boxes with dirty feet.

If you do have to clean the eggs, it’s best to avoid using water, as this washes away the protective film covering the shell. Brushing with a small dry brush (an old toothbrush is ideal), may be enough to dislodge dry mud or droppings. If washing is essential, use water that is slightly warmer than the eggs, to prevent bacteria being drawn in through the pores of the shells, and don’t allow them to soak. A little poultry disinfectant can be added to the water.

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