2 Questions!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LuvMaChickies, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. LuvMaChickies

    LuvMaChickies Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 2, 2009
    I think these question belong in this forum...I can't find a better place for them. Oh well, here it goes...

    My chicken started laying eggs about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I've been picking them up and putting them in a carton on the kitchen counter. I haven't washed them and haven't refrigerated them at all. How long will they last? My husband thinks they are no good and that I should throw them out. I just wanted to make sure, before I did so, so I wasn't wasting perfectly good eggs. I do plan on cooking them for us to eat. So, how long can eggs last unrefrigerated, if I haven't washed them? How about, if I do wash them and refrigerate them?

    Next question, probably a stupid one. It's been getting cold here and I've been a little cautious with my chickens. If the weather is below 48 degrees, I turn their heat lamp on in the coop and sometimes I won't even let them out of the coop. I know they need their exercise and love to explore, but I don't want them to be cold! <roll your eyes, here> Anyway, am I being a little too cautious? Can they take to the cold, better than I think? The few times that I have let them out, they'll walk around the yard for a little bit, and then I find them cuddled up by the back of the house. Also, how do they do in the snow? Should I buy them little boots and a scarf, lol? Can you tell this is my first winter with chickens? Help, reassure me that my chickens won't freeze! Thanks! [​IMG][​IMG]
  2. AmyRey

    AmyRey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2009
    On the question of egg storage, you will probably find this article quite informative.

    On the cold question, I had the same concerns (and I'm a first time chicken keeper too). Of course it depends on your area, but I'm in the deep south and am not planning to put any sort of heat source in my coop. I may rethink this on those one or two nights it dips into the teens, but as of now they don't even seem to notice the cooler weather.
  3. I will answer the second question. (It is all I am qualified for). I open the barn door up EVERY MORNING, rain, shine or snow.

    The chickens determine if they are going to venture out that day. There are ones that WILL stay in the barn if it is raining or cold.

    The Guineas are very particular with the weather. They are in and out if it is cold and I do not see too many out when it is raining.

    If you have chicks, then yes i would lock them up for their own good. Othewise, let the be free.
  4. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    I keep all the eggs on the kitchen counter in a wire basket I want to use for cooking or baking acouple weeks at a time. When it starts to over flow they go into cartons in the fridge. I have egg customers too. The eggs are good for acouple months refrigerated if [​IMG] they last that long around here.

    My chickens go in and out all year long I do not lock them up or turn on any heat lamps unless it's a blizzard with below zero temps and wind.
  5. greyhorsewoman

    greyhorsewoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    Endless Mts, NE PA
    It is much healthier to let your chickens naturally acclimate to their environment. Unless it gets below freezing for extended periods of time, chickens do quite well in cold weather. Ours stay in if it rains too hard and most of them don't care much for trudging around in any serious amount of snow. If they were all 'cuddled up' .. .they were probably taking a nap out of the wind in view of sunlight.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Unless you have Seramas or some other breed of chicken that isn't cold hardy, I'd say it needs to get quite a bit colder than 48 degrees for you to even think about supplemental heating. But it is important to let your birds acclimate gradually to colder weather. For example, if they're used to temperatures in their coop being kept steady in the 50's or higher, it could be hard on them to cut off the heat suddenly and kick them out into 30's.

    The first time our nighttime temps dipped down to 58 (from the 70's), our chickens shivered and tried to climb under each other's feathers on the roost. But by the next night they had gotten used to it, and now as the temperature has gradually lowered, it doesn't seem to bother them at all.
  7. LuvMaChickies

    LuvMaChickies Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 2, 2009
    I guess I'm just extra cautious because my chickens are dumb! LOL, and I mean that! They'll stand outside in the pouring rain and refuse to go back into their coop! Their coop isn't too big (8x4), so when the door is open, unless it's nighttime, they're outside. It'd be just my luck, that they'd lay in the snow and get frostbite and not even move or do anything about it. [​IMG]

    BTW, I have a silkie roo and a silkie mix hen.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2009
  8. dovecanyon

    dovecanyon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2009
    Niland, CA
    On the question of egg storage, you will probably find this article quite informative.
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/Sustaina … -Eggs.aspx

    Thanks for the link to that article. It will be unwashed eggs, stored in a sealed container, refrigerated at 35'-40' for me! I love Mother Earth News!​
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks &amp; Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I've seen my chickens out playing in an ice storm. My rooster looked hilarious with icicles hanging off his tail feathers. Of course I have a winter hardy breed and they've been off their heat lamp since they were five and a half weeks old.
    IMO, your safer letting them acclimate to cold temperatures naturally than you are to get them used to a nice warm coop and have something go wrong with the heat bulb - power failure, bulb burnout, etc.
  10. miche

    miche Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 4, 2009
    Madison, WI
    I got my chickens last year, and we live in Wisconsin. They started laying December, when snow was already on the ground, and we had record low temps (unusually cold, even for Wisconsinites!). I have 4 cold hearty breeds (BO, EE, Australorpe, GW) and was AMAZED how they did during months of daytime high temps in the teens. Just because I baby them, I run an incandescent lightbulb under a clay flower pot in their coop. It's on a timer to come on at night, when it gets really cold. Truthfully I don't think they need it, as they do fine all day long without a heater. They love being outside rain, snow, or sunshine.

    I also leave all the eggs unwashed, on the counter. They typically don't last more than a couple of weeks; once the basket starts filling, we start giving them away or making quiche to freeze. (which works great btw. Make a quiche, slice it up and freeze plastic wrapped slices in a ziploc. Thaw or microwave for 15 seconds, and finish off in a toaster oven. Incredible.) Farm fresh eggs are meant to be eaten fresh! yum.

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