Safe Eggs = Clean Coops

Eggs from my chickens

The TV has been reporting that a major egg produce has been kicked to the curb by McDonald’s.   It has been reported that this egg producer was inhumane and unsanitary.  It really drives home how wonderful the backyard flock is.  It also serves as a reminder that backyard flocks are work to keep.  Keeping sanitary conditions require a vigilant routine.

Chickens like all living creatures have waste, a.k.a. poop, that has to be dealt with.    My chickens though they weigh less than my dog produce bigger and more poop per hen than my dog does.

In the summer it is fairly easy to keep my conditions clean, as they are  free range and head out as soon as I open the gate to their run.   They head out into the pasture looking for good eats, and travel far and wide; spreading their manure the same.    Quite honestly cleaning is not much of a summer issue for me.   I do keep a clean coop  but because they spend so much time on the run, they don’t create much  of a mess on the home front.

In the winter, they spend their days mostly confine to the run and spend many more hours on their roost with the longer nights. This means that cleaning up after them becomes an issue.   My key item in this is the poop board under their roost.  It is as you imagine, a board under the roost that catches the droppings.   I can rake it off into a manure bucket and wa-la a clean coop.   In  the winter this is a regularly scheduled chore, and though it should be a stinky task, the tundra of Montana freezes it rending it odorless. They still spend most of the time even on the coldest days out wandering around so the floor of the coop doesn’t collect much.   I add a little more straw through out the season to the floor,to help keep it clean.  I watch the floor and if they spend too much time inside and the floor starts to get dirty, I pull out all the straw and start over.

Clean coops and sanitary conditions for chickens are no accident;  factory farm or backyard flock.  With a backyard flock, I have the advantage of knowing my hens are healthy, and the conditions they live in are sanitary.   Not only do my eggs taste better, but I believe them to be safer.   I adore my eggs sunny side up, and never have to worry about the disclaimer found restaurant menus the raw eggs can be dangerous.    Home-made mayonnaise is a taste bud delicacy that I would not dream of making with store bought eggs.  Yet once in a while you will find home-made mayo in my refrigerator, though it does not last long.

This week McDonald’s restaurants  and other retail chains showed their power by canceling a relationship with an egg producer.   I say power to the people become an egg producer with your own backyard flock.