Can you eat chicken eggs straight from the chicken coop? Absolutely. Fresh eggs from backyard chicken flocks are typically more nutrient dense and disease free than factory farm eggs sold in most grocery stores today. In fact, fresh eggs from backyard chicken flocks can even be eaten raw or used while still warm by the hen.
To eat your chicken eggs straight from the chicken coop:
- Make sure your chickens are healthy and disease free; fortunately this is typical of backyard flocks. Chickens with salmonella have a notoriously unhealthy appearance and are generally found only in large factory farm operations.
- Wash eggs before use, but not necessarily before refrigerating or storing them, as washing them removes a protective film that keeps them fresh longer.
- Provide your chickens with a clean area to nest. Spread fresh straw or cedar chips in their nest boxes weekly to keep the eggs clean after laying.
- Collect the eggs daily and store them in a cool place.
- Refrigerate the eggs after washing.
The next time someone asks you if you can eat chicken eggs straight from the chicken coop, you will know what to say: Yes, of course. Ironically, chicken eggs from small backyard flocks are not only richer in nutrients and far less prone to disease, but also have better proportions of good cholesterol.
Eating farm-fresh eggs is good for your health, and cooking them so that the yolk is still runny (or adding them fresh and whole to yogurt shakes) is the best way to assimilate their nutritional 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 before use, just as a precaution.
Free-range eggs are also tastier than caged eggs. The taste is buttery and good, really not even comparable to store bought eggs. Backyard chickens that have access to grass and insects in the garden produce eggs with yolks that are darker and brighter in color, almost orange, compared to the pale yellow of confined birds. These differences are evident for families who bought conventional eggs and raised their own chickens.
Once you are comfortable with the health of your chicken flock, try adding raw egg yolks to healthy shakes and shakes for added nutrition. The incredible nutritional benefits of egg yolks are best assimilated raw or near raw. In addition to raw yogurt smoothies, try coconut oil fried eggs, easier or sunny side up and then eaten plain or toasted. This is almost like eating eggs straight from the chicken coop: delicious and good for your health.