From Coop to Carton: The Journey of Your Farm-Fresh Eggs

Have you ever wondered about your farm fresh eggs journey from the coop to carton?

Here’s how it happens on our farm.

Farm fresh eggs washed and in cartons in the fridge.

I’m about to walk you through the journey those wonderfully tasting farm fresh eggs take to get from our farm to your table.

It starts when Todd gets home from work.

His afternoon chores start with giving everybody fresh water. Nobody likes to drink hot water that’s been sitting all day.

Then he scratches the chickens (and the ducks like it too). That means he throws out something akin to a snack for them to scratch around in and eat. He throws out oyster shells for them too. This is a good calcium source that helps make their shells stronger.

During the summer he gets their fermented feed ready for the next morning. We don’t ferment during the winter because of the cold temperatures.

And, of course, he takes care of all the other critters on the farm. The dogs and cats like to eat too, ya know.

Gathering the eggs

Then he goes about gathering the eggs.

He does this last cause he doesn’t want to roust a bird out of the nesting box if she’s not quite done yet.

In most cases the chicken eggs are all in nesting boxes making it easy to pick them out and put them into baskets.

But occasionally, you get a chicken that decides she like some place different to lay, say like the chimenea.

We’ve learned where most of these special spots are so we check them on the daily to make sure someone didn’t deposit an egg in the wrong place.

If we find an egg and we can’t say it wasn’t there yesterday, that egg goes into the basket that is boiled and fed back to the animals.

We gather our eggs daily. And if we can’t say for sure that egg isn’t fresh that day, we don’t keep it.

When gathering the duck eggs, we walk the fence lines, look under the shade teepees, walk through the yard and check the bamboo. They love laying in the bamboo.

Farm fresh Eggs in baskets gathered in a day.

Recently, the ducks have been laying in the chickens nesting boxes more and more. It would be really great if they did that all the time, but in most cases, a duck will drop her egg wherever she happens to be standing at the time.

But like the chickens, we’ve learned where most of those places are and we check them all the time.

Cleaning your farm fresh eggs

Once he’s got them all gathered up, he brings them in. This is usually about 5 baskets of eggs. That can run anywhere from 90 to 110 depending on the birds, the time of year it is and their moods.

When I get home from work, that my first job. I wash eggs.

Eggs in the sink getting washed.

There’s a lot of people/places that wash their eggs with some kind of egg cleaning solution or with a vinegar and water mix.

Personally, I like to just wash the eggs in plain old hot water.

Eggs are porous. When a chicken lays the eggs, she leaves a protective covering over the egg called bloom.

This bloom seals and protects the insides from the outside world. When we wash the egg we wash that bloom off opening the pores to the outside world. I don’t want anything else getting into those pores.

For that same reason, I don’t put them in a sink full of water either.

I put all the eggs in an unplugged sink and spray hot water over them. If there is anything on the egg, this helps loosen it.

Most of the time the eggs are pretty clean to begin with. But we haven’t been able to teach these girls to wipe their feet before stepping into the nesting boxes yet, so if they walked through mud or through a fresh chicken doober, well, then….sheite happens.

I wash each egg individually, inspecting each one for any cracks or other anomalies. I’m not real gentle with them either. This way, if the shell is thin or weak, I’ll find out in the cleaning process and it doesn’t get into a carton to sell.

That’s not to say it’ll never happen, but the chances are much less that way.

The eggs that don’t make the cut go into a pot to be boiled and we feed them back to the animals as an excellent source of protein.

Eggs in a pot to be boiled

Into the carton

Washed farm fresh eggs drying on a towel drying

After washing they’re laid out on a towel to dry. Most times I let them air dry. It usually doesn’t take long since I’m using hot water to wash them. But if it’s too late in the evening, we’ll dry them and carton them up for the fridge.

If you’ve bought eggs from us directly from the farm, you know I always try to put at least one of the pretty blue or green ones in the carton.

All the eggs have the same nutritional value, color doesn’t change that. We just don’t have a lot of the blue and green eggs, so I just sprinkle them in the cartons we sell off the farm.

I love the colors and just think it’s kinda fun to find a bright colored egg amongst those beautiful brown eggs.

Well, I hope that gives you an idea of the journey your farm fresh eggs follow from coop to carton on our farm.

Pretty low tech and simple, but I like it that way.

If you ever have any questions, please feel free to call, text or email. We’re always happy to help.

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