Can you eat chicken eggs directly from the coop? Absolutely. Fresh eggs from backyard chicken flocks are typically more nutrient-dense and disease-free than the eggs from factory farms sold in most grocery stores today. In fact, fresh eggs from backyard chicken flocks may even be eaten raw or used when still warm from the hen.
To eat your chicken eggs directly from the coop:
- Make sure your hens are healthy and disease-free; luckily, this is typical with backyard flocks. Chickens with salmonella are notoriously sickly in appearance and generally found only in large factory-farm operations.
- Wash eggs before using but not necessarily before refrigerating or storing, as washing eggs removes a protective film that keeps the egg fresher for longer.
- Provide your hens with a clean area for nesting. Spread fresh straw or cedar chips in their nest boxes weekly to keep the eggs clean after they are laid.
- Collect eggs daily and store them in a cool place.
- Refrigerate eggs after washing.
The next time someone asks you if you can eat chicken eggs directly from the coop, you’ll know what to say: Yes, of course. Ironically, chicken eggs from small backyard flocks are not only higher in nutrients and far less likely to have any type of disease, they also have better ratios of good cholesterol.
Eating fresh farm eggs is good for your health — and cooking them so the yolk is still runny (or adding them fresh and whole to yogurt smoothies) is the best way to assimilate their nutritive benefits. Raw eggs are not a health hazard if they are fresh and the shells have been washed (use water mixed with vinegar) and dried prior to use, just as a precaution.
Eggs from free-range chickens are also tastier than those from caged hens. The flavor is buttery and good, really not even comparable to store-bought eggs. Backyard hens who have access to grass and bugs in the yard produce eggs with yolks that are a darker, brighter color, nearly orange, compared to the pale yellow of confined birds. These differences are readily apparent to families that have both purchased conventional eggs and raised their own hens.
Once comfortable with the health of your chicken flock, try adding raw egg yolks to smoothies and health shakes for added nutrition. The incredible nutritive benefits from egg yolks are best assimilated raw or close to raw. In addition to raw in yogurt smoothies, try eggs fried in coconut oil, over easy or sunny-side-up and then eaten plain or over toast. This is almost like eating eggs directly from the coop — delicious, and good for your health.