How can you prevent dirty eggs in the chicken coop? Fortunately, there are a few ways you can use to prevent dirty eggs. Only some simple preventive measures are required.

When To Wash Dirty Eggs​

If you're reading this, chances are you know where those tasty eggs come from. From the butt of a chicken. Technically, yes they don't come from the "butt," but for the sake of comedy and efficiency... let's just say that's where they come from - the butt. So since eggs come out of the butt, they can get dirty very easily.

Generally, I recommend not washing fresh eggs until right before using them. Unless they have been soiled with poop, mud, or otherwise need to be washed. Clean dirty eggs in that case, but store them in the refrigerator right afterward. You can also extend the shelf life and freshness of eggs by not washing them right after you collect them, whether you store them at room temperature or in a refrigerator. There are very few backyard chicken keepers who never wash their eggs!

Ways to Stop Eggs from Getting Dirty​


Clean Up More Often​

A clean chicken coop is a healthy chicken coop & a healthy chicken coop is a happy chicken coop. Dedicate some time to cleaning your chicken coop weekly. If you use the deep litter method, be sure to add fresh bedding, both on the coop floor & in the nesting boxes.

Also, don't think you'll get away with just cleaning the nesting boxes. The chickens pick up dirt & droppings from the dirty floor with their feet and drag them along to their nesting area.

Place perches far away from the nesting boxes​

Place roosting poles as far from nests as possible. Most chickens tend to roost in the highest part of the chicken coop. By setting up roosting poles far away from the nesting areas, you can discourage them from roosting in their nesting boxes (and thereby polluting them).

Add more padding​

Even if you keep the nesting boxes carefully clean, chickens may still soil the nesting boxes (and maybe even eat their eggs if they're broken).

Use straw or nesting pads to cushion the nesting boxes and prevent eggs from breaking and making another mess. Crusted-on egg yolk is more difficult to remove from an eggshell than its droppings!

Use sand as bedding​

There are many benefits to using sand in bedding. Not only can it remove many odor & moisture problems, but it also dries quickly and keeps your chickens' feet clean. Your chickens may be more likely to go into their nesting boxes with dry feet - and without droppings and mud.

Try rollaway nesting boxes.​

Rollaway nesting boxes are handy because they're designed so that once the egg is laid, it rolls away from the chicken. It can't get to it. These devices prevent not only dirty eggs but also broken or eaten eggs.

Don't let your hens roost in the nesting boxes​

Whatever you do, do not allow your chickens to roost in the nesting boxes. It's a bad habit that's hard to break.

Make sure you've enough nesting boxes​

The right ratio of nesting boxes is one box for every 4 chickens. If you don't have enough nesting boxes, there's a good chance your chickens will lay their eggs outside the chicken coop, where you have no control over hygiene.

Check the nesting boxes more often​

Collect the eggs several times a day if at all possible. This way, your hens are less likely to step on the eggs & break them, contaminating the rest of the eggs in the nesting box. This will also help you figure out why your nesting boxes are getting so dirty!

What's more, is that frozen eggs can be prevented just by collecting eggs a few times per day during the cold winter months.

Throw out the broody hens​

Broodies are a great thing to have - why wouldn't they be when you can leave all the duties of hatching the chicks to a mother hen? But a broody hen virtually never leaves her nest - even when nature calls. She'll do her business right there, messing up the rest of the eggs.

If you've got a broody hen, move her to a separate nesting box before her eggs hatch.

Pay attention to their cleanliness​

Check your chickens regularly to ensure their feathers & feet are clean and that they are free of droppings & infections. If your chickens have soiled feathers near the vents, clean them as much as possible.

Dirty feathers near the vents are often caused by diarrhea or parasites. You can add probiotics to their waterer.

What if I need to wash the eggs?​


Even if you take the best precautions, your eggs will get dirty occasionally. Fortunately, you can still wash the eggs if needed. Try using water that's about 20 degrees warmer than the egg - the warmer the better - and don't leave the eggs in the water. Just wet them, remove the dry spots, and dry them.

If you must wash your eggs, first use the washed ones before the unwashed eggs. They won't keep for as long.

What other tricks have you got for keeping your chickens' eggs clean? Share them in the comments!