It is bitter cold outside, yet some of the hens are laying. It’s early in the season, which means that sometimes some odd eggs appear in the nesting boxes. This is what showed up today:
The two pale eggs are laid by the bantam white leghorns. They’re supposed to be like that. But the one on the left? The dark brown egg with the two pointy ends? That was laid by a standard-sized hen. It should be large, like the eggs to the right. Sometimes, the first egg that a hen lays at beginning of the season is small like this. It might not even have a yolk. I’ve no doubt that the next egg by that hen will be perfect.
By the way, see how clean the eggs are? I didn’t wash them. This is how they come out of the hen. The eggs will be clean as long as there are clean nesting boxes. You might have noticed me using a kitty litter scoop to tidy up the boxes in the morning. Only two hens like to sleep (and therefore poop) in the boxes, so it’s not such a bothersome chore. If I had a hundred hens, I’d have to do other forms of animal management to keep things clean.
I’d rather not wash the eggs. Egg shells are porous, and running hot water over the egg will push contaminants in. If you use soap or chlorine, you’ll taste it. If an egg does require washing (and I will have dirty eggs during mud season when the chicken tramp their muddy feet everywhere), I simply rinse the eggs quickly under cold water.