Are Hen Eggs Safe To Eat If Hen Drinks Water With Duck Droppings In It?

I was recently asked if hen eggs are safe to eat if the hen drinks water that the pet ducks have got their droppings in.

Hi, I have 2 ducks and 1 chicken. The ducks are extremely messy & poop every where. My hen lays eggs & we have been taking them from her but are afraid that they are unsafe to eat because the ducks poo in the water in the food & everywhere else possible. We try to keep the water & food clean but probably would have to reclean every 20 mins or so. My question is, are the eggs safe to eat if my hen is drinking water with duck poo in it? It may sound weird & I appologize but we are concerned. Thanks again. Kristen

Hi Kristen,

Thanks for your question. Do you have the drinkers and feeders raised up slightly as this will help to keep them cleaner. What type of drinkers/feeders do you have as those that are not fully open will stop poop getting in.

I am not certain of the answer to your question as I am not a vet but if the eggs are
cooked thoroughly then I would have thought that bacteria would be killed. You may not want to use them for soft boiled as the yolks aren’t thoroughly cooked and if you fry them you may want to turn them over so that the yolk is thoroughly cooked.

I like you have hens and ducks and my drinkers sometimes get droppings in them even though they are raised up and cleaned out regularly and I eat the hen and duck eggs.

I will add your question to my farmingfriends forum and see what other members have to say. http://farmingfriends.com/forums/topic.php?id=256 You could always contact the egg marketing board to ask their advice.
Here are the regional telephone numbers:
South & East Region 01223 533634
Midlands & Wales Region 01902 693145
Northern Region 0113 2305989
Western Region 01179 591000

Hope that helps.
Kind regards

Sara @ farmingfriends

What would your advice be?

One thought on “Are Hen Eggs Safe To Eat If Hen Drinks Water With Duck Droppings In It?

  1. The eggs would be absolutely fine. There is not direct line between what is eaten and what goes in an egg (i.e., the egg isn’t produced in the stomach..). The only way you’d possibly get disease in the egg is if the hen itself was very sick. It’d have to be very sick, as they have measures to insure the health of their eggs (i.e. their future offspring), and if they were indeed that sick, they’d probably stop laying altogether.

    The only time I’d ever worry about whether an egg is not OK to eat is if:

    – It smelled when cracked open (throw away, possibly very old or had damage to its shell)
    – It was CAKED in muck. A little bit is fine. Even a lot is fine, as long as you wash them they’re fine to eat – I’ve been doing so for 20 years.

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