Great article. I would love to add one thing for those wondering about keeping excess eggs. I have 6 hens at the moment and a neighbor who also loves my eggs but with 6 ladies I still end up with excess.
Instead of worrying over holding them in the fridge or on the shelf I learned I could take a half dozen eggs, gently beat them until they were fairly well blended then freeze that half dozen in a large cube sized ice cube tray. Once frozen solid I pop them out of the tray and vacuum seal them with a Food saver type set up and toss the bag back in the freezer. They will keep frozen for up to 6 months easily and I have a few dozen eggs for those times of the year my ladies go on rest. I have heard you can do the freeze with the yolk intact but experiments have led me to prefer them beaten lightly instead.
Great article! I got my own ongoing experiment re: How long will a fresh bloom-intact egg will last unrefridgerated. The birds and eggs are kept in unheated basement. Birds are let outside to free range, are provided a healthy layer feed and typical scratch. Yes, their yolks are much darker than store bought and taste SO much better.
We have 1 hen (more a pet that just happens to poop breakfast) named Omelet. This fall we gently took in another stray hen who we named Betty. They are watched over by our big tough sweety of a rooster named Bob. Both hens have resumed laying recently after taking a break for couple months.
Now we have more eggs than we can eat...and we're not big egg eaters to begin with. We just liked the chickens. And the disabled gentleman I care for adores them Caring for the beasties is a good activity for him.
We have never washed our eggs and always leave the bloom on. Rarely refrigerate them. As I write this I have 4 dozen unwashed eggs sitting in my basement some of which have been down there for months since last summer. I'm waiting to see how long it takes for them to go bad if they ever do.
I just now broke open a couple eggs out of each carton and I actually think they're still good. The very old ones the yolks have thickened some but otherwise I'm confident if I hard boiled them they'd be fine. The "newer" eggs are unffected by all the time gone by.
Chickens are remarkable creatures! Best critters to have around for a reliable food source and eggs have an awesome shelf life.
My opinion, don't ever wash until ready to cook. Leave the bloom on, kerp them in a cool place and they'll last a good long time.
Would like to hear from others who have kept unwashed, bloom-intact eggs for a long while and if their older eggs proved to still be edibible.
I just did this my girls have all decided to take a much deserved winter break, and I broke down and bought Organic free range eggs. Well it's been many a year since I have done this and wow there is no comparison between my free range girls [Non GMO fed girls] and store bought organic. I guess I am spoiled.
Very good break down of the difference in how chickens are kept too.
This is Eggcellent! Most people (BYC community aside!) really don't understand where their food comes from, so this is a great educational tool. Every 4H Fair should have a copy of your poster hanging around the poultry barns ... Have you considered making it a full-blown "official" ad poster? I'll bet your Extension Service would know how to get it started!
Very interesting findings with the experiment! I thought for sure the farm egg may last an extra day or so! Really enjoyed all the information in this article! A lot of the facts, I was not aware of before reading! Thanks for sharing!