Chicken eggs

dexterlady

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 31, 2014
69
1
31
Does anyone know how long you can keep eggs out without refrigeration?....I only have three hens and a roo, all Lav. Ameracanas....I get three eggs every day and I bring them in and put them in an egg carton until I get a dozen....How long can I keep them out?...I have left them out up to two weeks.....They say in England, they don't ever refrigerate theirs....I don't want to make anyone sick....
Another thing, how do I know if my roo is mating with these hens?...I never see him jumping on them, to breed them...So I don't know if the eggs are fertile or not....I;d sure like to try to hatch some out.....Can anyone help?...Thanks , ...Donna
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,436
438
Montana
There is no hard fast answer to how long chicken eggs can be left out without refrigeration as it depends on a number of factors such as air temperature, humidity, sunlight levels, whether or not the eggs have been washed (which removes the protective coating), whether or not they are fertile, etc. If conditions are favorable, they can definitely be left out beyond two weeks, however for caution's sake, I personally would not knowingly eat an egg that has been left out of the refrigerator for more than a week. There is a good article on this very subject at http://www.livinghomegrown.com/day-13-must-fresh-eggs-be-refrigerated/. As far as your rooster goes, even though you may not have seen him do it, in all probability he has mated with your hens, especially since you only have three and a single rooster can normally mate efficiently with 10-15 hens. I would not be afraid to bet that your eggs are fertile.
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
7,127
8,752
556
Consett Co.Durham. UK
I don't refrigerate my eggs at all and I have eaten fertilized eggs as old as 2 months after sitting on the bench top in the kitchen. If they are getting old, I test them by placing them in a jug of water. If they stay on the bottom, they are ok, but I normally break them into a separate container just to be sure, before I cook them. If they look ok and smell ok, then they are ok in my book, but I do thoroughly cook these older eggs rather than leave the yolk runny. ....;. If they float then I take them outside and break them in the garden somewhere out of the way, as they may explode and if they do, they stink of..... well .... rotten eggs.

As Michael says, your handling and storage conditions will effect the longevity to some small extent.

As regards fertility, you need to crack a few open and look for the blastoderm.... a small whiteish spot on the yolk. If the spot is small and well defined then it isn't fertile but if it is expanded and looks like it has a halo or bullseye, then it is fertile. There is a thread on the forum with photos which shows you what to look for.... if you search the word blastoderm you should find it. Of course you can't hatch the ones you crack, but it gives you a good indication of whether the other eggs will be fertile

I find that hens and roosters that have been hatch mates(and are perhaps siblings.... which is possible/likely if you got them from a breeder rather than from a large hatchery) are slower to mate than when they grow up in a mixed age flock. I have some welsummers at the moment that are nearly a year old and are only just showing an interest in their pullet hatch mates. Unfortunately the girls are not accepting their advances. It's funny because they have been dropping a wing and dancing for each other (but not actually trying to mate.... just doing the courtship bit) for months and I was coming to the conclusion they were gay, but at last they have noticed the girls!
Like you, I thought that I perhaps just wasn't seeing them mate the girls, but I am retired so I am here a lot of the time. I checked tsome eggs and they were not fertile. I even put some under a broody as I really wanted some welsummer chicks but none were fertile.... thankfully my marans eggs provided some chicks for my broody. Unless your cockerels are very shy, I'm therefore less certain that mating is happening if you are not seeing it.

Is there any reason why you are keeping eggs so long.... it happens to me because I have far too many hens ....no.... that's not correct.... because, of course, we all know you can't have too many hens!!!...... What I meant to say is that I don't have enough friends and family and neighbours to give the eggs away to, when my chucks are all laying well. If you are wanting to incubate some then, 2 weeks old is usually considered the oldest they should be for a healthy hatch.

Regards

Barbara
 

dexterlady

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 31, 2014
69
1
31
Thank you Micheal and Barbara, I will break an egg and see if I can see the white bulls eye...The roo attacks me every chance he gets and he herds the three hens away from me....I do see him drop his wing but he is usually after me not the hens....Now I let the hens out last night, couldn't get the roo in, so I left him out and when I let the hens out he tried to jump on one...So maybe he is breeding them when I don't see him .....But I am going to check the eggs like you said.....
Barb, I leave the eggs out until I get a dozen, then I usually give them to someone.....But as luck will have , when I need to give the eggs up, everybody has just bought eggs from the store.....And my husbad and I can't seem to eat that many eggs.....I broke some open one time whipped them and put them in the freezer....Still haven't used them and it has probable been a year.....So they will go in the trash now....
One more question....Can you make a hen go broody?....Thank you both for your help.....Donna
 

Mountian Man

In the Brooder
Feb 26, 2015
10
1
24
Appalachia Mountain's west va
Helpful
Thank you Micheal and Barbara, I will break an egg and see if I can see the white bulls eye...The roo attacks me every chance he gets and he herds the three hens away from me....I do see him drop his wing but he is usually after me not the hens....Now I let the hens out last night, couldn't get the roo in, so I left him out and when I let the hens out he tried to jump on one...So maybe he is breeding them when I don't see him .....But I am going to check the eggs like you said.....
     Barb, I leave the eggs out until I get a dozen, then I usually give them to someone.....But as luck will have , when I need to give the eggs up, everybody has just bought eggs from the store.....And my husbad and I can't seem to eat that many eggs.....I broke some open one time whipped them and put them in the freezer....Still haven't used them and it has probable been a year.....So they will go in the trash now....
      One more question....Can you make a hen go broody?....Thank you both for your help.....Donna

Helpful hint if you do wash your egg dip or cover it with olive oil they will stay good up to 9 months. Lol sounds crazy but I seen it on a episode of doomsday prepping. I only collect my duck eggs once a week cause they bury their eggs in a ground nest and the outside coating is much thicker than chicken eggs
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,436
438
Montana
Thank you Micheal and Barbara, I will break an egg and see if I can see the white bulls eye...The roo attacks me every chance he gets and he herds the three hens away from me....I do see him drop his wing but he is usually after me not the hens....Now I let the hens out last night, couldn't get the roo in, so I left him out and when I let the hens out he tried to jump on one...So maybe he is breeding them when I don't see him .....But I am going to check the eggs like you said.....
Barb, I leave the eggs out until I get a dozen, then I usually give them to someone.....But as luck will have , when I need to give the eggs up, everybody has just bought eggs from the store.....And my husbad and I can't seem to eat that many eggs.....I broke some open one time whipped them and put them in the freezer....Still haven't used them and it has probable been a year.....So they will go in the trash now....
One more question....Can you make a hen go broody?....Thank you both for your help.....Donna

You're welcome. In answer to your question, no, you cannot make a hen go broody. Broodiness is determined by a hen's hormones, not by external factors.
 

dexterlady

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 31, 2014
69
1
31
OK, I guess I will just have to wait to see if one of mine goes broody.....Thanks again for all your answers to my dumb questions....
 

MANNA-PRO

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