Eggs and cold weather

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mhegge, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. mhegge

    mhegge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In a few weeks I will be headed back to work and had a question on eggs and freezing. I'm in Wisconsin and our temps haven't been bad lately, I know we'll get colder. So I'll likely leave for the day before the eggs are laid, all of us gone by 7am and not home till 4pm. I'll basically have time to take them feed and fresh water and open their gate so they can free range. We don't heat our coop so overnight it'll dip below freezing but will warm up quite a bit when the sun comes out. So will the eggs be ok? What happens if they freeze and how can you tell if they freeze? So far my 5 hens are still laying great, just a slight dip since the snow flew, but still getting 3-4 eggs a day and sometimes 5, no light or heat. The coop and run have been staying about 10° warmer overnight than outside temp and upwards of 20° in the day if it's sunny. The first time water froze in the day in the run was when it was 15° outside.
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Collect the eggs in the evening when you get home, then you don't have to worry about them freezing.

    If you have a waterer in your coop, that can give you an idea. Does it freeze inside the coop? Depending on the size of your coop and how many chickens you have, it may not get cold enough to freeze. Chickens put off a lot of heat.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. mhegge

    mhegge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The waterer is in the connected run which is covered in winter to keep warmth in. It will get down to freezing in there though once the highs are only in teens and lower. I was planning on collecting eggs each night, I just wasn't sure when the temps dip below 0, how long they'd last before freezing. I was sure the shell and straw help some too besides just the "chicken heat". I usually keep my eggs on the counter, is it OK to put them right from that cold then to counter warmth?
     
  4. MelissaEm

    MelissaEm Out Of The Brooder

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    This is what I went out to this morning. Our first frozen egg :-( I'm thinking it was laid late last night or very early this morning. It wasn't there when I closed them in last night.
     
  5. MikeTheGardener

    MikeTheGardener Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have found here in NJ that when temps are below freezing, the eggs will freeze and crack. We try to get them as soon as possible. We also use a heated water bowl so the water doesn't freeze.
     
  6. mhegge

    mhegge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone. If they freeze and crack, do you ever cook them up for the chickens or the dog? Hate to waste them.
     
  7. MelissaEm

    MelissaEm Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2015
    I gave it to my dog!
     
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  8. Chickenkeepr

    Chickenkeepr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here in Norther NY it gets COLD. I find that some days the eggs will freeze, others they won't. Sometimes the ones that are laid early do, sometimes they don't. Our coop is 8x8, heavily bedded and insulated. I will NOT put a heater in there. Their water is outside in the first part of the run with a tank heater in it so no worries there. If I get a frozen egg I've got 2 dogs and a pot belly pig that LOVE them so they never go to waste. I see no reason why you couldn't cook them up and feed them back to your girls as well.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    My solution to stop eggs from freezing.

    I haven't had a frozen egg since I built this, but lowest recorded daytime high temp was 11F (-9F nighttime), not sub 0F day time, like some.

    Heat the nesting boxes to stop eggs from freezing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
    1 person likes this.

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