Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happiness is knowing where your eggs come from

Photo credit: Wombatunderground1 on Flickr
A store-bought egg recall? Again? Well, thank goodness for our own backyard egg producers!

It's staggering to think that Wright County Egg is recalling 380 million eggs since improper handling at several of its facilities has been suspected of sickening hundreds of people with salmonella. For now, I'll leave the "how did this happen?" story to be told over on the news web sites.

I imagine we'll be reading a lot about federal regulations and industrial processing plant working conditions and distribution chains in the coming days before this story dies out.

What I hope people think about is the plight of the millions of hens who actually laid those 380 million eggs now recalled (for destruction if they haven't been eaten already). Thanks to human negligence and mishandling, all the energy expended to create and deliver those eggs into the industrial system has been wasted. And this coming from a creature that spends its life laying eggs in a space only as big as a standard letter-sized piece of paper. It hurts to think about it.

If you've had to buy eggs at the store since May, please check to see if you need to return your eggs.

And the next time you step out to the coop to pick an egg from the nesting box, please give your hen a hug.


Granny Annie said...

My husband and I did listen to the news rather smugly last night, knowing exactly where our eggs come from:)

Elizabeth Beller said...

Fantastic article and spot on... thanks for informing the public about the many benefits and pleasures of keeping back yard chickens.

Dr. Gregory P. Martin said...

While it is great that you are able to produce your eggs at home, it is not a placebo. Good egg safety measures need to be taken at the home flock as well.

I suggest washing and candling all eggs. Candling can be performed with a small flashlight with its clear lens removed.

I have judged several fairs where eggs from home flocks were in poorer condition than that of a commercial pack. This includes nesting material, manure/stains, cracks and in one case an inedible egg.

Egg producers large and small alike need to use good management & food safety practices.

Anonymous said...

I live in Los Angeles and have 6 six-week old pullets! Can't wait to have "home-grown" eggs!

Cristin // Simplified Bee said...

Thanks for keeping us informed! Your blog is a great resource... I mentioned it in this post today:


Unknown said...

You are so right, I have chickens also, and would not even think about getting eggs from the store.

Thanks for the great post.
Mike. said...

Nothing beats fresh, home-grown eggs....especially when you can walk just a few feet from your back door and get them with in moments of being laid :-).

Anonymous said...

First, raising your own eggs is no magic bullet - you can still manage to contaminate your own eggs.

But I really just wanted to correct one thing - the eggs are not being destroyed, and the hens have continued to lay eggs. The eggs are being sent to an egg breaking facility to be pasteurized for liquid egg products. Pasteurizing kills salmonella.

Joannes said...

Indeed. I love collecting my eggs each day!

Karen said...

I would love to find a local "backyard farmer" to buy eggs from. It's impractical for me to raise hens myself. I want to avoid purchasing from farms that debeak. I would like to know if it is possible that a hen could still be treated humanely even after her "productivity" as a layer is past. Am I dreaming that this is a possibility or must I go vegan? Any suggestions welcome. I live in Seattle.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for the info on cleaning eggs, good to know, I have been doing it half right and half wrong lol. My nests are clean, but unfortunetly it has been raining latley a lot, chickens don't seem to mind the mud and it gets on the eggs.Please check out my new website

AMD1 said...

Very nice article, its always nice to hear of people doing well with there chickens.
I have a webpage that has useful information for anyone wishing to build a coop when their starting out
youre welcome to take a look at;


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