Eggs in nest box for the weekend OK?


12 Years
Jun 23, 2010
We fequently go away for the weekends and the girls keep on working. There are between 8 and 11 eggs in there. It's getting hot in there now that it's summer time. Are they still OK to eat? Should I always float them before putting in the fridge just to check?
Rather than float test them, I recommend breaking one by one into a separate bowl just before using. Floating before refrigerating will wash the bloom off and they may not last as long after that.
Ok another dumb question. How will I know they are bad after I crack them? Is it obvious?
This may be a silly question, but what is the float test?

I have read that if you expose them to water the pores expand and can allow bacteria to contaminate the inside. Since then I have always wiped away dirt if any and for really dirty eggs I use a HOT water solution of a gallon with 2tbsp of bleach, dip the egg, wipe off the debris and rinse. Allow to air dry before placing in the fridge...
I have had eggs sit in 90 degree temps for 4 days and were still good to eat. I crack them in a bowl first. If they smell the least bit rotten or like sulphur, toss them or feed back to the chickens.

Only problem I've had with leaving them over the weekend is making my older hens go broody. Pain in the butt once it gets established.
Smell, any off colors or weird things. But especially smell! I use one of those little Pyrex custard bowls and crack each one in it, dump and crack the next egg. Smell, visual inspection seems to work. In 20 years I have never gotten a bad egg.

Sheesh, I have something like 14 dozen eggs now, I'd better go knock on wood!
The float test! Better for determining age, than good or bad.

I use a plastic dishpan, filled with slightly warm water. Say, 100-105F. Put the eggs in- if it floats to the top, get rid of it. Too old. If it stands up on the bottom, big end up? Use it fast, baking is best, but it's okay. If it stays on its side on the bottom, it's still very fresh. The reason being that egg shells are porous- as time goes by, liquid evaporates and the air cell enlarges, making it float. I only test if I have a bunch of eggs that I forgot to mark the dates on.

Couple of notes-
Eggs are porous- if you use bleach or soap, it could be absorbed. I use lukewarm water and a soft nail brush to clean if I have to, right before use.
The USA is one of the few countries that refrigerates eggs. I keep mine in a basket on the counter unless they get to 2-3 weeks, in which case I refrigerate them. Used to be 1 week, but I tested a bunch and they are fine.
Washing removes the "bloom", a protective coating applied just as it is laid. Better than any protection we have.

And a final note: Everyone has their own way, find the one best for you.

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