Using Backyard Chicken Eggs

Baking By veghed Updated 11 Mar 2016 , 2:12am by annie1992

veghed Posted 18 Feb 2016 , 3:40pm
post #1 of 30

Does anyone use non store purchased eggs?  Some of the recipes I want to use have under cooked eggs in them.

I have a small flock and always have an abundance of eggs.  After all the money we have spent acquiring and caring for our hens, it would just slay me to have purchase eggs.  

I've looked on several cartons and non of them say pasteurized.  And I know the conditions in which my hens live are much better than most commercial egg production facilities.

I don't know how big of a risk it is.  If you go to the CDC website, you'd think every under cooked egg would require a hospital visit.  IDK...I've been eating cookie dough all my life with never a problem.  


What do you know about this?

29 replies
kakeladi Posted 18 Feb 2016 , 5:16pm
post #2 of 30

an egg is an egg is an egg.................

No store bought eggs are NOT pasteurized.  

...............you'd think every under cooked egg would require a hospital visit.  IDK...I've been eating cookie dough all my life with never a problem..............

Same here! :)  That warning is for people who have compromised immune systems .   If it were me I'd just continue to use what I had.


Snowflakebunny23 Posted 18 Feb 2016 , 5:42pm
post #3 of 30

I think it depends where you are in terms of the legislation.  Funny - some one asked me why I don't get chickens the other day... I don't but I have a farmer up the road who sells them fresh for pennies.  To the best of my knowledge, you have to be able to trace every egg used in a recipe so that means lot number and, more importantly, testing.  As I understand it, store-bought eggs may not be pasteurized but they are scanned & X-rayed for other nasties and all the chickens they come from have to be checked, vaccinated etc.  The odds are, you would never have a problem but for my business, it's store bought for me all the way.  Sadly :-(

Natka81 Posted 18 Feb 2016 , 7:06pm
post #4 of 30

I wouldn't use backyard chicken eggs for a customer,  just because of all the  food laws and regulations. 


Jinkies Posted 18 Feb 2016 , 8:44pm
post #5 of 30

I don't want to gross you all out but, I cracked open a store bought egg the other day and had a big surprise.   it was full of bright red blood and a tiny dead baby chick.  Seriously, it made me sick to my stomach.

Sooo, I'm with @kakeladi ‍  there's no difference.  In fact, your backyard eggs are probably better than store bought.   At least you have control over quality and what you feed the chickens.   JMHO, of course :)

costumeczar Posted 18 Feb 2016 , 10:44pm
post #6 of 30

Eggs themselves aren't pasteurized, but i think they go through some kind of a "cleansing rinse" as they're processed. You can't really wash an egg too much, though, because the shells are porous.

I don't know what recipes you want to use that would use undercooked eggs, but the health department is going to have a problem with that regardless of where the eggs come from. I had to convince them that an Italian Meringue buttercream was okay to eat when they did my certification because the recipe doesn't specifically say to raise the temperature past 165 degrees. It had nothing to do with where the eggs came from and everything to do with how they were handled after they were cracked open.

-K8memphis Posted 18 Feb 2016 , 10:50pm
post #7 of 30

there's like a huge deal these days about the marketing of chickens and eggs and it all getting way past being humane and etc. but if i raised chickens i'd use my own eggs in my cakes -- you have to wash them carefully and probably tons of other things i know nothing about -- i've considered getting some chickens but idk -- i have an ancient cat and a fluffy dog and that's already kind of a lot although we don't really get enough eggs from them...

-K8memphis Posted 18 Feb 2016 , 10:51pm
post #8 of 30

so all that to say backyard eggs are probably 10,000 times better than most store bought ones

veghed Posted 18 Feb 2016 , 11:15pm
post #9 of 30

There is a French Buttercream that has uncooked eggs in it.  And like Costumeczar said, in other meringues, you don't raise the temp to 165 degrees.  How did you handle it with the health dept, @costumeczar ‍ ?

Hens can have salmonella and have no symptoms.  It's no problem if you cook the egg thoroughly, so I am not worried about using them in a cake recipe.

My vet does not have an aviary practice.  And as K8memphis wrote, my eggs are 10,000 times better than store bought.  

costumeczar Posted 19 Feb 2016 , 4:16am
post #10 of 30

I just talked the health department into approving the recipe, basically.

It's my understanding that any salmonella is going to be on the outside of the shells, since it involves fecal material getting on the shells. If you wash them directly before using them it should be fine. I think that they spray them with a mild bleach solution in egg processing plants, but i know I've seen cartons where an egg still has some chicken poop on it, blergh.

Webake2gether Posted 19 Feb 2016 , 1:29pm
post #11 of 30

I'm such an exciting person but I watched a whole documentary on chicken and eggs. Commercial eggs are washed in a bleach bath. This process actually strips the egg of its natural protective coating which is why they require refrigeration. Farm fresh eggs do not require refrigeration bc they still have the protective coating that doesn't allow contaminates to penetrate the shell. being someone who wants to have a small flock of chickens one day i have to admit I wouldn't use them for our business. We were actually given several cartons of farm fresh eggs for free and I wouldn't dare use them in my baked goods. I guess my thinking is if something were wrong the eggs can be traced back and the supplier is held responsible not me. And I'm pretty sure the requirements here wouldn't allow it. I also garden and grow my own zucchini for bread and I'm not sure I could use it for bread I sell. It's something I will check into bc my zucchinis are triple the size of the store bought ones lol plus I'm a chemical free gardener so I know they are "organically grown" but that doesn't mean the health dept  will also agree. So I would check first locally to see what the requirements are before I would consider using them if I were you. 

Commercially Packaged chicken is also soaked for up to 2 hours in a bleach bath. The documentary said this is why Chicken has lost its flavor over the years bc we process it much differently now. They did a side by side taste test of locally butchered chicken breast and commercially packaged chicken breast and the butchered chicken was better tasting, juicer and over all  the quality was better. 

Jinkies Posted 19 Feb 2016 , 1:35pm
post #12 of 30

Yes, there is a natural protective coating on eggs.  That's why will you see farmers just leave their eggs on the counter and not necessarily in the fridge. They are air-tight, just like you seal things in canning jars-they last longer.

In processing, that protective coating is washed away, so the egg shells are now porous and need refrigeration to keep from going bad. 

Preppers (people who prepare for disasters by stockpiling food and supplies) will buy eggs in bulk, when on sale, and coat the outside with mineral oil.  This re-seals the eggs so no air can get in.  These can be kept, un-refrigerated, in a cool, dry, dark place for many many moths without going bad.

So, you see, nature knows better than the fda, haha!

Natka81 Posted 19 Feb 2016 , 1:46pm
post #13 of 30

I 100% agree that home/farm chicken eggs are better than store bought. For personal use  local, free range chicken eggs. For customers store bought. 

Bakers just need to do their own research,  not to get in trouble. 


Natka81 Posted 19 Feb 2016 , 1:47pm
post #14 of 30


Quote by @Natka81 on 2 seconds ago

I 100% agree that home/farm chicken eggs are better than store bought. For personal use I use local, free range chicken eggs. For customers store bought. 

Bakers just need to do their own research,  not to get in trouble. 



veghed Posted 19 Feb 2016 , 3:16pm
post #15 of 30

Webake2gether & Jinkies, you are correct.  There is a coating, called bloom, on the outside of an egg which gets washed off by commercial producers.  And you do not have to refrigerate if they are unwashed.

My understanding is an infected hen may pass salmonella through the inside of an egg too.  That is why they had to kill all those million of hens last year (it was for bird flu, though).

Right now, I only bake for my family and people I know.  And I know that my hens are kept in a better conditions than factory farm eggs.

If I ever get to the point that I am baking for others, I am going to have to re-evaluate, I guess.  

annie1992 Posted 19 Feb 2016 , 3:51pm
post #16 of 30

I have chickens and I use the eggs for baking and sell them besides.  My free range chickens are far healthier than those nasty commercial operations.  Commercial eggs are "candled" or put in front of a light to check for abnormalities, like that chick inside referenced below, but few commercial flocks have roosters, so that's usually not a problem.  A blood spot might also pass, that's just a sign that the chicken was startled while laying the egg and isn't harmful.  Throw it away if it gives you the heebie-jeebies, or put it into the cake.

Salmonella can be on the outside of the shell or on the inside/egg itself.  About one in 10,000 eggs or some similar number actually have salmonella.  If you are baking your cake, you are heating the eggs above 165F and they are safe.  However, the original poster specifically said she is making recipes that do not call for cooking or baking her final product above 165F.  That's a whole 'nother issue.

Truthfully, I'm far more secure with my home grown eggs, and wouldn't hesitate to use them, and the risk is as great or greater with commercial eggs.  To really protect myself and my customers I think I'd have to tell them the product contains undercooked eggs, no matter the origin of the eggs.  An average customer doesn't have health issues but if they are very young, very old or immuno-compromised, salmonella could kill them.  They need to know.


-K8memphis Posted 19 Feb 2016 , 5:16pm
post #17 of 30

@jinkies, that was fascinating


@veghed -- would you mind sharing some of your costs and how many chickies make a  'small' flock? thank you


my city allows me to have chickens -- now i have to figure out if i want them 

-K8memphis Posted 19 Feb 2016 , 5:21pm
post #18 of 30

i just thought of something-- my husband had histoplasmosis* as a child -- that might figure into this -- although he already said he wanted the chickens -- he's not wrapped too tight is he -- his was confined to his lungs but he was bad sick and his lungs when x-rayed look like chopped bologna -- my girlfriend's husband died from it ...

*"infection by a fungus found in the droppings of birds and bats in humid areas. It is not serious if confined to the lungs but can be fatal if spread throughout the body."

maybe we'll just stick with our garden but idk...

kakeladi Posted 19 Feb 2016 , 6:29pm
post #19 of 30

Though this is a non issue for me I see I must re-think this issue.  Interesting information here.

veghed Posted 19 Feb 2016 , 7:02pm
post #20 of 30

The start up costs are significant.  Coops are expensive even if you build it yourself (there was one here when we bought our house).  We had to add extra fencing because despite clipping their wings, they were flying over the fence.  We finally constructed an enclosed run.  I still let them out for a few hours in the afternoon, though.  Enclosed runs are best, imo, because chickens are prey to many animals, especially dogs.

We purchased our seven chicks when they were one day old for a few dollars each.  If you do that, you have have brooder and a heat lamp.  We just used a very large, sturdy box for the brooder.   They live there for several months and I found out the hard way that everything in the room where the brooder is will be covered in dust.  If you buy them, go to the actual hatchery and never have them mailed.  I cannot tell you how many threads I have read where a/the chick(s) died during transport.  Sometimes someone will be selling a relatively young layer on craigslist.  I know my local hatchery sells their layers at the the end of spring and they are usually about a year old.

Now I just pay for their feed plus give them vegetable scraps and treats.  There is also the cost of pine shavings for the coop and straw for their laying boxes.  I need to start keeping track of the costs.  I bought a 50 lb bag of laying pellets yesterday for $20, but I am not sure how long it will last...maybe 3-4 weeks, maybe longer.  I change the pine shavings at least once a month, and one bale of compacted shavings will last 4-6 months (I think).  The straw for the laying boxes rarely needs changing.  They keep the laying boxes pretty clean.

I also rake up their run almost every day.  The droppings and used pine shavings make wonderful compost.

Most people will not save money with their own hens.  But chickens are the most abused animals on the planet and when you purchase cheap eggs, you are supporting this practice.  If you have a strong stomach, you can google it.  *Steps down from soap box*

Gerle Posted 23 Feb 2016 , 7:15pm
post #21 of 30

My son and his wife bought a house that had a chicken coop in the back.  He fixed it up a bit and made some repairs and they have chickens back there now.  My husband and I enjoy the fresh eggs we get from him.  I use them in my baking, but I only bake for family and friends.  I've never had a problem with the eggs, but he does clean them before passing them on.  I live near a farm supply so have picked up some supplies for him periodically and delivered them to his place when he's cleaned out the coop for his chickens.  I'm not around often when he cleans it, but I know he keeps it clean.  He lets his chickens out into the back yard fairly often to just run around and it's fun to watch his Australian Shephard with the chickens.  He doesn't quite know what to do with them.  He tries to herd them because that's his nature, but they don't herd well!  He has never tried to harm them, though, but it sure is fun to watch him with them.  I've taken care of the hens for him a couple of times when he's been out of town.  The only thing he told me to be sure of was to get the hens out of the laying area and close if off to them before collecting the eggs, clean it out after collecting the eggs, then let them back in.  It was kind of interesting to do as I've never done that before.  When I watch them or care for them, however, I DON'T let them out of the pen because I don't know if I'd be able to get them back in when I was ready to leave.  It is an interesting process of caring for them, though.  I've never seen any blood or any other objects in the eggs I've gotten from him...just the yolk like it should be, so I guess I've been lucky.  My husband loves those fresh eggs for breakfast, and I love them for baking.  My son just got his first eggs of the year a few days ago, so we're getting ready to start enjoying them again this year.  I have to say I enjoy them more than the store bought eggs.

karmen.wong Posted 23 Feb 2016 , 10:53pm
post #22 of 30

If it baked good are for sale I would not use your own eggs. There are health codes against using eggs that are not regulated or checked - I believe there are pretty serious consequences to using unregulated eggs. If they are for your self or friends - then its totally fine! And many boxed eggs are pasteurized. 

Hope that helps. 

annie1992 Posted 24 Feb 2016 , 12:26am
post #23 of 30
karmen.wong, I'm in Michigan and this is what the Michigan Department of Agriculture has on their website:

"Eggs: Farmers with fewer than 3,000 hens can sell eggs produced by their own flock directly to consumers or a first receiver without license. Farmers are required to be licensed if they have more than 3,000 hens, or if they are selling their eggs to a grocery store, food processing facility, restaurant, or food service facility. Eggs are a perishable product and must be handled properly to ensure food safety."

Requirements are not federal, they do vary state by state, but with the current "farm to table" movement and the restaurants sourcing fresh and local ingredients, many states do not have regulations against using eggs directly from the farm.  Since the original poster was asking about backyard chickens and the use of their eggs, I'm only surmising that there are less than 3,000 chickens, and therefore not required to be inspected.  Michigan Cottage Food Law allows a home baker to sell their goods from their home without an inspection by the Health Department as long as it states on the label that it was prepared in an uninspected home kitchen.  Any allergens must be included on the label, such as wheat, dairy, soy and eggs.  No where does it say where the eggs must come from.
karmen.wong Posted 24 Feb 2016 , 12:52am
post #24 of 30

Im in Canada... so your most likely right for the states. 

Quote by @annie1992 on 25 minutes ago

karmen.wong, I'm in Michigan and this is what the Michigan Department of Agriculture has on their website:

"Eggs: Farmers with fewer than 3,000 hens can sell eggs produced by their own flock directly to consumers or a first receiver without license. Farmers are required to be licensed if they have more than 3,000 hens, or if they are selling their eggs to a grocery store, food processing facility, restaurant, or food service facility. Eggs are a perishable product and must be handled properly to ensure food safety."

Requirements are not federal, they do vary state by state, but with the current "farm to table" movement and the restaurants sourcing fresh and local ingredients, many states do not have regulations against using eggs directly from the farm.  Since the original poster was asking about backyard chickens and the use of their eggs, I'm only surmising that there are less than 3,000 chickens, and therefore not required to be inspected.  Michigan Cottage Food Law allows a home baker to sell their goods from their home without an inspection by the Health Department as long as it states on the label that it was prepared in an uninspected home kitchen.  Any allergens must be included on the label, such as wheat, dairy, soy and eggs.  No where does it say where the eggs must come from.


veghed Posted 29 Feb 2016 , 7:56pm
post #25 of 30


Quote by @Gerle on 6 days ago

My son and his wife bought a house that had a chicken coop in the back.  He fixed it up a bit and made some repairs and they have chickens back there now.  My husband and I enjoy the fresh eggs we get from him.  I use them in my baking, but I only bake for family and friends.  I've never had a problem with the eggs, but he does clean them before passing them on.  I live near a farm supply so have picked up some supplies for him periodically and delivered them to his place when he's cleaned out the coop for his chickens.  I'm not around often when he cleans it, but I know he keeps it clean.  He lets his chickens out into the back yard fairly often to just run around and it's fun to watch his Australian Shephard with the chickens.  He doesn't quite know what to do with them.  He tries to herd them because that's his nature, but they don't herd well!  He has never tried to harm them, though, but it sure is fun to watch him with them.  I've taken care of the hens for him a couple of times when he's been out of town.  The only thing he told me to be sure of was to get the hens out of the laying area and close if off to them before collecting the eggs, clean it out after collecting the eggs, then let them back in.  It was kind of interesting to do as I've never done that before.  When I watch them or care for them, however, I DON'T let them out of the pen because I don't know if I'd be able to get them back in when I was ready to leave.  It is an interesting process of caring for them, though.  I've never seen any blood or any other objects in the eggs I've gotten from him...just the yolk like it should be, so I guess I've been lucky.  My husband loves those fresh eggs for breakfast, and I love them for baking.  My son just got his first eggs of the year a few days ago, so we're getting ready to start enjoying them again this year.  I have to say I enjoy them more than the store bought eggs.


When I first brought home the baby chicks, I wanted to acclimate my dogs to them.  I have a rottweiler and a terrier mix and at first, they would look at me as if to say, "Why, thanks mom.  We are going to eat them today, right?"  Every day I carefully exposed them to the chicks as they grew.  I was really worried that they would never be trusted around the hens.  

Eventually, the dogs got used to the hens being part of the family and they completely ignore one another.  It could have gone the other way.  I've heard stories.

kayra850 Posted 10 Mar 2016 , 7:33pm
post #26 of 30

Hello girls. I live in Zagreb, capital of Croatia. Here we prefer to use domestic eggs over farms eggs or eggs from stores. Actually, I am not sure if we can purchase meringue powder in our stores. And we doing well with eggs from back yard. 

But hey, people in India drink river Ganges, and even do it looks deadly… .they stay alive. My point is - it is all matter of habits and traditions, and in your case, the law.

-K8memphis Posted 10 Mar 2016 , 7:38pm
post #27 of 30

good points, kayra, well said

Webake2gether Posted 10 Mar 2016 , 9:26pm
post #28 of 30

The last couple of weeks my son has been under the weather more than he's been well so grocery shopping is kind of you get what you can when you can sooooo anyway I was at Walmart getting medicine and other essential items and we needed eggs (for our consumption). I'm not lying and I wished I would have taken a picture (although I'm not sure I want to be labeled the crazy lady  at Walmart taking pictures of eggs haha) the very first carton I opened there was chicken poop all over one of the eggs!!! I thought of this thread instantly and came home eggless lol. I wish I had the time to care for a small flock but I'm not sure that I do :( 

veghed Posted 11 Mar 2016 , 2:07am
post #29 of 30

I have never seen store bought eggs with chicken poop on them.  Now, I don't think it would bother me.  You should have taken a picture of the lady and posted it on peopleofwalmart.com .

If you share your eggs, you could probably recruit a neighbor to help.

Quote by @Webake2gether on 4 hours ago

The last couple of weeks my son has been under the weather more than he's been well so grocery shopping is kind of you get what you can when you can sooooo anyway I was at Walmart getting medicine and other essential items and we needed eggs (for our consumption). I'm not lying and I wished I would have taken a picture (although I'm not sure I want to be labeled the crazy lady  at Walmart taking pictures of eggs haha) the very first carton I opened there was chicken poop all over one of the eggs!!! I thought of this thread instantly and came home eggless lol. I wish I had the time to care for a small flock but I'm not sure that I do :( 


annie1992 Posted 11 Mar 2016 , 2:12am
post #30 of 30

I've also never seen commercial eggs with any debris on them, as they are mechanically washed before packing.  Anything can happen at Walmart, though, and most probably does.

Mine are not mechanically washed, but before I use them or give them away, I wash them by hand, so I know each one is clean, LOL.


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