Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Attention Chicken Farmers

I was involved in a conversation of the Hobby Farms website about how to clean and store chicken eggs....something that I have done wrong all of these years, kind of. I did some research and here is what I discovered on egg cleaning:
Dr. Christina Winstead of The Department of Animal Science Cornell University says the following:

"A household refrigerator can be used to store eggs from small flocks, but the low humidity will cause air cells to enlarge rapidly. Eggs may absorb off-flavors if stored with other produce such as onions.

Sanpaper, emery paper, or steel wool are useful for dry cleaning eggs. Egg washing is not recommended for small flock owners, but if done, an egg wash containing a sanitizer should be used. A temperature of 110 degrees F is preferred but a range of 90 to 100 degrees F. is suggested. Make sure the water is at least 20 degrees warmer than the egg but never more the 50 degrees. Wahing should not exceed 2 to 3 minutes and shoulb be followed by a rapid drying and cooling. Never wash eggs in cold water. It causes the egg contents to contract and draw-in the dirty water.

Egg quality declines as eggs get older, but the nutritional value is not affected. For maximum quality, eggs should be used within 2 weeks after being laid."

I also learned some valuable information about keeping eggs. I never knew that you could freeze them. To freeze the whites and yolk of eggs together, break the eggs and thoroughly mix the yolk and white. Can can use an electric mixer at a low speed, avoiding incorporating any more air than necessary. Pour the mixture into containers and freeze. If you want to greeze whites and yolks seperately, separate the eggs in the usual way. Be careful to avoid getting any yolk into the white; they will not whip if mixed with yolk. Mix the whites to a smooth foam-free consistency. Freeze in a suitable container. The frozen, separated yolks will gel unless salt or sugar is added when they are mixed. Add 1 teaspoon of salt or 2 tablespoons of sugar, corn syrup, or honey to each cup of yolks. Remember to allow for the salt or sugar in the added ingredients when using frozen yolks in recipes.
Hopefully, this will help people the same as it has me. I would be glad to research anything else that you may have questions on when it comes to eggs or poultry. I have a couple of great connections at Cornell that are always will to share information with me.
Well...back to work for me. Will update more when I can...Have a great day and God Bless !

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