Eggs outside in cold = refrigerated?


Mar 15, 2018
Upstate, SC
First year with chickens. I have about 4-6 eggs per day from our small flock of 9 hens. Temps are getting cooler rapidly so wanted to ask before winter hits.

Eggs that are outside for a few hours in the cold - does that mean they are considered to be refrigerated? I thought I read that once you refrigerate one that you have to keep them cold from then on. Right now we just gather them up once or twice a day and put them in a basket on our kitchen counter. We eat them within a week or two at most and give away the extras if we have any.

We had our first few colder days (30's-40's) and the eggs collected were cold in hand so I wasnt sure if they should stay cold and put them away in the fridge or if they are OK to sit out.

Is there any advantage or disadvantage to leaving them in our out of the fridge? We do not wash them until we are ready to eat them. I thought that was also the correct way to store fresh eggs.

In the winter months we plan on collecting at least twice a day to keep them from freezing. Our hens so far refuse to use nesting boxes and like to lay in favorite nesting spots out in our large run (fenced and netted). They all have their exact spot to lay so we just go get them from there daily.


Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
If you wash them or sandpaper them to clean them up they need to be refrigerated. Cleaning them removes the bloom which can make it easier for bacteria to get in. If they are refrigerated the bacteria won't grow in those temperatures. So as long as they are not cleaned it should not matter.

One possible issue though is that the egg might get condensation on it as it warms up, either bringing it in from outside or taking it from the refrigerator. Especially if you rub it that condensation might remove some bloom. The water resting on the egg shell from condensation might contain bacteria if the egg was slightly dirty and might possibly soak through the porous shell and carry bacteria in with it. This is a stretch, there are several possibles and mights in it. But when you bring them in let them rest before you handle them if they do attract condensation.

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