As you’re out collecting your eggs from the coop, you might notice some brown smudges or stains. You might wonder, is this chicken poop? It most likely is, and there are a few ways it can get there.
Why Is There Poop On My Chicken Eggs
Poop might be on your eggs because your chickens are stepping or sleeping on them. Chickens also excrete and lay eggs from the same hole. It increases the chance of poop to smear the outside of the egg.
In this article, we’re going to look at what you can do to prevent poop from getting on your eggs and whether or not they are safe to eat. But first, let’s take a closer look at what causes poopy eggs.
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How Does Poop Get On My Chicken Eggs
It is relatively common to find poop on your chicken eggs. Chickens excrete waste and lay eggs from the same hole called a cloaca, but it is usually referred to as a vent.
Most people think that this will cause inevitable contamination, but while your chicken lays eggs, its uterus expands and blocks the hole where waste comes from. So, there is actually little contamination from the vent while laying eggs.
However, there is always a chance that some leftover waste could be hiding near the vent opening. This means it might smear across the egg on its way out. It is perfectly normal and not uncommon to find streaks or stains of poop on your chickens’ eggs.
Your chickens could be accidentally getting poop on their eggs after they have laid them. Chickens poop everywhere and can get poop all over their feet or back ends, which will then be transferred onto their eggs if they step on them or sleep on them.
You can wipe the poop off, or you can use gloves while gathering eggs if you don’t want to come into contact with them. If you’re worried about poop getting on your eggs, there are ways you can try to prevent it.
Does Poop On Eggs Mean Chickens Have Worms?
No, most chicken eggs will have poop on them, and it doesn’t mean the birds have worms. Chickens are susceptible to various types of intestinal worms. Worms can infect your flock year-round, but they are more vulnerable during the hot summer months.
If you believe your chickens have been affected by worms, look for the following symptoms:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Chickens stop laying eggs
- Pale or dry combs
- Chickens pugging up while sitting
- Less active
- Bloody diarrhea
If you’re unsure if your chickens have worms, contact your veterinarian to schedule a poop test, as that’s the only real way to know if they have worms or not.
How To Prevent Poop On Your Chicken Eggs
There are several ways you can try to prevent chickens from getting poop on their eggs. We’ll look at some simple things you can do to try to keep your eggs clean.
Get Your Chickens to Use The Nesting Boxes
Make sure chickens are using their nesting boxes to lay their eggs in. Nesting boxes aren’t necessary, but your chickens will be more likely to lay their eggs in one spot.
If eggs stay in one area of the coop, they are less likely to get poop on them.
Ensure there are enough nesting boxes to accommodate your flock. If they still aren’t using them, consider placing some fake eggs inside the nesting boxes. Chickens are creatures of habit, when they see the fake egg in the nesting box, they will likely start laying in it.
They don’t even eat or drink at night, but they will check the same spot in the morning when they’re ready to eat.
If you have silkie chickens, they may brood over the fake balls. Silkies make awesome mother hens, and will even hatch duck eggs!
Give Your Chickens Somewhere to Sleep
Make sure that your chickens are not sleeping in their nesting boxes. Chickens poop a lot overnight, so if they are sleeping on their eggs, there will undoubtedly be poop on them in the morning.
Make sure your chickens have a roosting bar to sleep on and that it is big enough to accommodate all of your chickens. If this doesn’t work, you can try closing off access to their nesting boxes at night or manually placing them onto their roosting bar before you head to bed yourself.
Collect The Eggs Everyday
Try to collect the eggs pretty regularly, as this will prevent chickens from sleeping on them and stepping on them throughout the day. Just collect them when you notice them instead of at a set time each day, as long as you are able to check the coop pretty regularly.
Replacing the bedding inside the coop regularly will make it less likely for chickens to get feces all over themselves and spread it onto their eggs.
Plenty of fresh bedding is also better for the overall health of your chickens. New dry bedding will keep the chicken coop smelling fresh.
When To Wash Chicken Eggs
There is no doubt that you should wash your chickens’ eggs, but when? The Happy Chicken Coop says eggs should only be washed before you crack them and gives a few cleaning options.
Eggs with poop on them are okay to eat since you will be washing them eventually. Avoid washing the eggs until the minute before you use them so that the antibacterial coating called bloom remains intact.
Bloom seals the chicken egg so that harmful bacteria are unable to reach inside. By washing the bloom off early, you shorten the length of time you can keep the egg before eating it.
Washed eggs must be refrigerated and can only stay good for about 5 to 7 weeks. Unwashed eggs can remain suitable for a couple of months at room temperature.
It’s essential to wash your eggs shortly before using them because they can have harmful bacteria such as coli and salmonella on the surface. You should also always wash your hands after handling unwashed eggs.
Never wash your eggs with cold water, as it will draw in bacteria from the outside of the egg into the inside, contaminating the whole egg.
Use warm water to clean the eggs. Scrub the eggs gently under warm water to remove any dirt or poop before gently drying them. You can also buy a safe egg cleaning solution or use vinegar for filthy eggs.
The Carefree Enzymes Egg Cleanser is perfect for those nasty eggs that have dirt and debris. It doesn’t remove the protective bloom, and you won’t notice a difference in the flavor.
Always inspect your eggs for hairline cracks or fractures and toss them if they do. This means the egg could be contaminated and unfit for human consumption.
My motto is, when it doubt, throw it out. After all, if you have a decent-sized flock, you won’t have to worry about eggs anymore. Here’s how many chickens you need to feed a family of six.
It is very common to find chicken poop on your eggs. Chickens could accidentally transfer poop onto their eggs by stepping on them or sleeping on them.
Don’t worry; eggs with poop on them are still safe to eat as long as you clean them beforehand. Wash them with warm water, cleaning solution, or vinegar. If an egg is too dirty for you, it’s okay to throw them out. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If you don’t like finding or touching eggs with poop on them, there are a few ways you can try to prevent it from happening. But overall, eggs with poop on them are harmless.