21-day Eggciting Adventure: Day 10

Welcome Back Goat Life farmer's!!

Today I want to discuss Bloom, we touched on this in the egg production on day 8. In step 5 on how an egg is made they talked about the protective coating called bloom. I wanted to share more about this because it is important for us farmer's because we don't always collect eggs each day or can we keep up with eating them as quick as they lay them!

What is Bloom? 

The more I learn about chickens, the more I think they are truly remarkable creatures. Just before laying an egg, the hen adds a protective layer called “egg bloom” or cuticle to the outside of the egg. This coating seals the shell pores, prevents bacteria from getting inside the shell, and reduces moisture loss from the egg – all designed to make the egg last longer. 

Unfortunately, because of conditions at some large egg operations, commercial eggs are washed right after collection to make them appear clean and presentable. Of course, this destroys the protective egg bloom. To try replacing natural bloom, some commercial packers spray shells with a thin film of mineral oil – that’s why grocery store eggs sometimes appear shiny.

An advantage of backyard chickens is that we can assure sanitary conditions; so the natural protective bloom can be preserved. Most eggs come out spotless and with a clean nest box, washing after collection is unnecessary. Eggs that have their protective bloom will last for months, but washing them right before cooking is a good idea.

Occasionally, an egg will come out a little dirty, or feathers and nest box shavings will stick to the fresh (still wet) bloom. If shavings or feathers have gotten stuck, we simply brush them off while any eggs that are truly dirty we wash and reserve for immediate use. The bloom should never be washed off any eggs that are planned to be used for incubation and hatching; these eggs need all of their natural protection.

The fact that Mother Nature has provided for natural egg preservation, and our commercial food production methods immediately remove it, makes no sense. I wonder if there are any large producers smart enough not to remove the “bloom”?

Thanks for the info from Better Hens, and gardens.

In the Egg

Day 10: The nostrils are present as narrow apertures. Growth of eyelids. Extension of the distal portion of the limbs. The vitelline membrane completely surrounds the yolk. Feather follicles now cover the inferior part of the limbs. Appearance of the egg-tooth.