Small Scale Table Egg Quality and Processing By Akrum Hamdy
Introduction Shady n Poultry Farm, Inc. n n Poultryman’s Supply Company
What is Egg Quality? § Exterior egg quality – shell quality based on shell § cleanliness, shell soundness, shell texture, shell shape. Interior egg quality – based on relative viscosity of the albumen, freedom from foreign matter in the albumen, shape and firmness of the yolk, and freedom from yolk defects.
Quality begins in the barn n n n Provide nests for hens. Usually 1 hole / 5 hens. Keep clean bedding or nest pads Keep fresh, clean bedding in front of nests. Rollout options are available. Collect eggs at least twice daily.
Collection n Pick up eggs at least twice daily, more often if extremely hot or cold weather. Use clean baskets, plastic or paper flats, cartons. Discard dirty, cracked or mis-shapen eggs.
Storage n Eggs should be placed in a cooler or refrigerator immediately after gathering and stored at 45 degrees F. Do not store eggs with foods or products that give off strong odors since eggs may absorb the odors. n Store (and package) eggs with the small end down. n Eggs stored at room temperature (75 degrees F) can drop as much as one grade per day. Fertile eggs held at a temperature above 85 degrees F for more than a few hours can allow the embryo start to develop.
Washing Eggs § It is best to wash eggs as soon as you collect them. This helps limit contamination and loss of interior quality. n Wash eggs with water 20 degrees warmer than the egg. This will make the egg contents swell and push the dirt away from the pores of the egg. n A mild detergent approved for washing eggs can be used.
Egg Washing n n Never let eggs sit in water. Once the temperature equalizes the egg can absorb contaminants out of the water. Hotter temps can cause thermal cracks. Shell quality is important with auto washers.
Candling Eggs Candle your eggs – look for cracks, checks and weak shells and blood or meat spots. n Don’t sell mis-shapen or small eggs. n Become familiar with interior quality. n
Grading & Packaging § Final cleaning with egg § § brush. Uniformity is important for appearance. Egg Scales are available. Don’t make claims of specific grades unless you are USDA inspected. Do not reuse cartons.
Larger scale equipment More automated equipment is available. n Candling, grading, washing, oiling options are available. n Can be expensive. n
n Check the Egg Regulations at your state department of agriculture
Questions, Comments? www. shadylanepoultry. com www. poultrymansupply. com