Can you eat chicken eggs straight from the chicken coop? Absolutely. Fresh eggs from backyard chicken flocks are often higher in nutrients and disease free than the factory farmed 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 from the hen.

To eat chicken eggs straight from the chicken coop:

  • Make sure your hens are healthy and disease free; fortunately, this is typical of backyard flocks. Chickens with salmonella have a notoriously sick appearance and are typically only found in large factory farm operations.
  • Wash eggs before using them, but not necessarily before refrigerating or storing them, as washing eggs removes a protective film that keeps them fresh longer.
  • Provide your hens with a clean area to nest. Distribute fresh straw or cedar chips in their nest boxes weekly to keep the eggs clean after they are laid.
  • Collect the eggs daily and store them in a cool place.
  • Refrigerate the eggs after washing them.

The next time someone asks you if you can eat chicken eggs straight from the chicken coop, you’ll know what to say: Yes, of course. Ironically, chicken eggs from small backyard flocks are not only higher in nutrients and much less prone to any kind of disease, they also have better ratios of good cholesterol.

Eating farm-fresh eggs is good for you, and cooking them so that the yolk is still runny (or adding them fresh whole to yogurt smoothies) is the best way to take in 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 flavor is buttery and good, really not even comparable to store bought eggs. Backyard hens that have access to grass and insects in the yard 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 hens.

Once you’re comfortable with the health of your chicken flock, try adding raw egg yolks to healthy shakes and smoothies for added nutrition. The incredible nutritional benefits of egg yolks are best assimilated raw or nearly raw. In addition to raw yogurt shakes, try fried eggs in coconut oil, pan-fried or pan-fried and then eaten plain or on toast. This is almost like eating eggs straight from the chicken coop: delicious and good for your health.

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