Egg Consumption -- A couple of health and safety questions! :)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by warmfuzzyfeeling, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. warmfuzzyfeeling

    warmfuzzyfeeling In the Brooder

    May 24, 2010

    I apologize for asking questions that have probably been asked many times before, but I appreciate any help and advice you can give me. First off, I have a small, backyard flock of Plymouth Barred Rocks who are about 1.5 years old. They are currently housed in a shaded, elevated outdoor cage while their permanent hutch and yard is under construction. In addition to layer pellets, they are supplemented with table scraps and fresh-picked dandelions, clover, and grasses daily. There are 8 hens and one very active rooster, so I think that the eggs are all probably fertilized. It is summer in Indiana, so the daily high temperatures are anywhere from the 70s to the 90s, with occasional days peaking over 100 degrees.

    My first question is regarding how long fertilized eggs remain technically safe for consumption under these conditions. I know it is ideal to collect eggs several times a day. But, if I am only able to collect eggs once every 24 hours, will the eggs still be OK to serve to my family? I keep thinking about how hatching eggs can be left out for weeks before placing in the incubator and I wonder if that means that a fertilized egg won't spoil immediately like store-bought eggs? Does anyone know specifically how many hours an egg can really sit in the nest box before it becomes unsafe?

    The next question relates to the first: If I find an egg with a small, hairline crack after I have collected the daily eggs, is it edible? The only thing I can know for certain is that the egg may have cracked as soon as 5 minutes prior (during collection) or as long as 24 hours ago (if it were laid 5 minutes after the previous day's eggs were removed).

    In either case, do the eggs require immediate cooking at high temperature, or can they go in the fridge for a few days?

    Thank you very much!
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Technically they can be eaten tight up until they hatch. Not something I'd do. They don't start develop right away, some one day with a high of 100 won't hurt. You can treat them as you would any other egg, but I'd cool them down for a longer self life. With cracked eggs if they aren't leaking the membrane is intact. Their anti bacterial shield is compromised. They can sit for a day and still be good. I put mine in the refrigerator and use the next day if I can, if not the animals get them. I wouldn't eat them raw.

    PS. I don't know that any one has done a study of how long unfertilized eggs will last at 100*.

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