Are these eggs edible?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 22, 2008
Could there be any unpleasant shocks if I give these eggs (see below) to friends and neighbors to eat? I'm concerned in case there's a possibility of them finding chick embryos in the eggs.

I have a rooster and three hens, all free ranging except at night when I close them in their coop. I've noticed the rooster and some of the hens copulating, starting a couple of weeks ago. Two of the hens started laying eggs in the nesting box about three weeks ago. The other hen hasn't been interested in the nesting box.

Yesterday, after that 'other' (third) hen had been missing for over four hours (and that's the first time she's been noticeably missing) I found her in a 'wild' nest she's obviously made for herself in a secluded spot, on the other side of the garden fence - with two dozen eggs beneath her!!!!!

The weather here in California turned a little cool only a couple of days ago, after being pretty nice and warm or hot for months.

What are the chances of the two dozen eggs I found in the wild nest being perfectly edible? I tried one, at random of course, today and it was perfectly edible.

Also, can you offer practical suggestions borne out of successful experience encouraging such a hen to lay in the nesting box, like her sisters, instead of in her own nest outside the coop?

After I first noticed one of the hens going missing for an hour or so per day, I searched the garden and I found eggs in a secluded and hidden spot. Then, I constructed a two-compartment laying box and put straw inside it; and two of the three hens took to immediately - each laying one egg per day there for about the last two weeks.
I would never offer eggs to eat to someone if they were found in an outdoor nest. Reason being is there is no assurance if they're good or not. I'll take the chances on myself, but not others. For myself, I'd do the float test and if they appear good, check them at my leisure when I need them. I only offer fresh eggs to others.

As for your hen who has taken to laying outside, she needs to be cooped up. Keep them cooped for a week and then start ranging again. That should straighten her out and get her adjusted to laying in the coop. On occasion, keep them in a day here and there to keep her interested in her "indoor nest". I have some sneaky ones too and this seems to work in keeping them laying where they should be.

i wouldnt be afraid to eat them they would be viable for hatching or eating,i wouldnt give them to someone else though. if the hen hadnt been setting ,then they wouldnt have embryos developing,and if they do------------- more cluck for your buck!
I tossed the ten I found in an outdoor nest a few weeks ago. It had already frozen a couple nights and I didn't know how that would have affected them.
If the hen wasn't setting on them at night, there is little chance that they will hatch. But you bet the farm some are bad. You can put them in a bowl of water, those that float, toss out, those the sink, you are able to eat.
Candling is a great help. Thank you. A 3-LED hiker's/hobbyist's headlamp in a darkened room seemed to work fine, in my inexperienced view.
In view of the reference photos at , all the eggs looked pretty good.

One question: Can you tell me, is it OK that some of the eggs have a small empty space at their blunt ends?
While candling, the empty spaces show up as slightly darker circles (solid circles, not rings) at the blunt end - diameters from about 1/4" to 1/2".

I've carefully opened two such eggs so far to examine the empty space, and those eggs looked and smelled and tasted good to me.

They all sink - so you would say OK, panner123.

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