Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Let Me Eggsplain

"Why do you keep a pencil and an emery board in your egg basket?"

That's a very good question! And here's my response:

First, the emery board. Before a hen lays her egg, she leaves a residue on it, called the "bloom." This is the egg's natural defense against dirt and bacteria. Even though I regularly clean the nesting boxes, sometimes an egg will come into contact with fecal matter or dirt. I could wash the egg to remove the substance but then I would also be removing the "bloom." To keep the egg's natural bacteria resistance, I lightly sand off any matter with the emery board. Some people prefer to completely wash their eggs. I like to know my eggs are still protected even after they've made their way to the carton and the fridge. It's a personal preference. 

 Second, the pencil. Right now it is easy to stack the cartons in the fridge according to collection date. I'm only getting 2-4 eggs per day so I can put them in order. But come warmer weather, when I'm collecting a dozen or so per day, it's much harder to remember which ones came first. I could mark the carton but that would get confusing after some re-use. And why does it matter? When it comes time to boil a batch, I want to make sure I use the older ones for easier peeling. The ones that have been in there a little too long will become dog food. If I'm sharing, I like to make sure to gift the freshest ones. So I write the date on every egg before it goes into a carton.  No exceptions.  Ever. 

 I'd love to hear your egg tips and traditions!

Very excited to get a pullet egg (the little one at the bottom) today!


  1. I'm with you as to not washing my eggs unless I have to. I do wash them if I'm selling them if needed, just as a precaution. They last a lot longer with the "bloom" :)

  2. Well darnit if that ain't just a dandy idea!


Tell me what you think, what you know, what you want to know. I love your comments! I read them all and will try to answer any questions.