Can I keep my fertilized eggs on the counter before using them?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by familyguy, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. familyguy

    familyguy Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 27, 2009
    Hi ... I am wondering about keeping my eggs on the counter - rather than in the refridgerator - until I want to use them. Since we have a rooster (and 10 chickens) I am assuming these eggs are fertile. So far I have been collecting them each day (4-6) and putting them in egg cartons and then into the fridge. But I would really rather store them on the counter, both for reasons of its easier to use eggs at room temp and to show them off (!) but if they are fertile, will they start to develop if left at room temp? I really would rather not have any surprises one morning when I am making breakfast!
    Thanks for your help.
  2. gabrielle1976

    gabrielle1976 Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 21, 2009
    Columbia river gorge
    Yes although store bought eggs and all that say refrigerate , I dont think you should have a problem as long as your kitchen isnt to warm. I would guess you would need to keep it under 71 ish for best results but Im not an expert. I dont think eggs start incubating unless you get them over 80 but Im not positive.
    If your intersted in showing off your eggs have you seen this?
  3. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2011
    Rison, Arkansas
    I would put them in the fridge. The eggs will spoil after a few days. If you intend on using the eggs in 3-4 days, they should be fine. Any longer, and you could cook a ruined egg. Most likely, the eggs will not develop enough sitting on the counter for you to notice, "unless your room temp is around 100f.
  4. Zanna

    Zanna Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 14, 2010
    Jefferson, Oregon
    How long will you be saving them before incubating and what is your room temp? I store mine in my bedroom closet which is 55 deg. or so. and collect 7-14 days before setting. I believe 7days (or less) is the ideal for best hatch rates. Refridgeration is not the preferred storage as it is too cold but people do it..........
  5. familyguy

    familyguy Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 27, 2009
    Thanks guys ... I am not storing them to incubate them ... I am storing them until they get used in the kitchen ... I know that it is very much ok to store eggs at room temp but am unsure about storing fertilized eggs at room temp. Of course, I am just assuming they are fertilized because we have a rooster. I suppose that doesn't necessarily mean they are fertile.
  6. ChickenOfTheC

    ChickenOfTheC Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 11, 2012
    What is the ideal temp to store eggs at before incubating? I usually leave them on the counter, but I have an extra refrigerator that I can use and put at whatever temperature would be best for the eggs if that is better.
  7. Smithyard Farm

    Smithyard Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2012
    Pembroke NH
    I heard eggs are okay not refrigerated for up to two weeks as long as they are not washed. As far as starting to "form" I don't think that will happen until they are set at 98 degrees.. but I am not an expert.... I keep mine out for a week, and wash on saturdays any i am giving away and put in the fridge, but I don't have roosters.....
  8. McPhersonFarm

    McPhersonFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2013
    Fort White, FL
    From what I've read and I've been researching alot lately as I'm doing my first hatching next week it is 60-70 and in a humid area they say basement etc is good
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    An egg spoils by bacteria getting inside and reproducing. If bacteria does not get inside, it will not spoil. It does not matter if it is in the refrigerator or on the counter.

    If bacteria gets inside, the warmer an egg is stored the faster the bacteria will reproduce. An egg in the refrigerator will last a lot longer than an egg in a warmer counter.

    When a hen hides a nest she lays an egg a day for two weeks, sometimes more, then incubates the eggs for three weeks before they hatch. They do not spoil in this five week time period. Why would they spoil on your counter?

    When an egg is laid, the hen puts a coating on it called bloom. This coating helps stop bacteria from getting inside. It’s not a perfect coating but it does work really well. When you wash the egg, you take that coating off. An egg that is washed should be stored in the refrigerator because you have removed the bloom. As long as it is not “dirty” an egg should last months in the refrigerator. A clean unwashed egg will last several weeks or even a few months on the counter.

    A fertilized egg will develop a little in the mid 80’s or so. It won’t develop enough to hatch but it can get far enough along after several days for it to be noticeable. I don’t know the exact temperature when it starts so I try to keep them below 80. Better safe than sorry.

    This article has some good information on how to store eggs for incubation. Remember that these are guidelines, not absolute laws of nature. The guidelines are there to help improve your odds of getting a good hatch. There is no guarantee of perfect success if you follow them exactly nor is there a guarantee of total failure if you violate them some. Just follow them as well as you reasonably can and you will probably do pretty well. Hopefully this link will work this time. I had trouble a few days ago.

    Texas A&M Incubation site

    The guidelines say to store the eggs between 55 and 65 degrees. This is the ”ideal”. A lot of us don’t have a place to store them that meets this criteria. I sure don’t. I store them at room temperature in a place where the temperature is pretty stable, a cooler part of the house, where sunlight can’t hit them and where the air vents do not blow directly on them. It’s the best I can reasonably do and I usually get pretty good hatch rates. Some people that live in hot climates store the hatching eggs in the refrigerator. It’s the best they can reasonably do and they often get pretty good hatches. The longer they are stored in poor conditions the more likely the hatch rate will drop, but that does not guarantee absolute failure.

    Folks, don’t stress out about it. Just do the best you reasonably can and you’ll probably do OK.
    downtownkb and Beekissed like this.
  10. RMDelete

    RMDelete Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2011
    I know this thread is Hella old but I never really saw op get a straight answer and I too am trying to figure this out, she asked about how long eggs that are most likely fertile are able to be kept out on the counter for kitchen/eating purposes.

    I found out about an old storage technique for fresh eggs, coating them in coconut oil and so I did this to some fresh eggs a few weeks ago thinking it as an experiment, BUT I just realized that these eggs were likely fertile when I did that And now I'm a little worried that I might get an explosion of a rotten egg son because I'm not sure that old school technique applied to fertile eggs... I'm not looking to hatch them I'm looking to eat the eggs

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