Found a lot of eggs, do I leave them?

Phantom_k9

Songster
Oct 29, 2019
242
207
116
North Texas
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Hello!
So this morning has been a very strange sequence of events. Lot of weird stuff with how my birds got off their roost, our RIR laid an egg up high and kicked it down (not breaking it to my surprise), etc.
After I let everyone out, our RIR went and laid down in an old playhouse we wanted to use for chicks, but we never saw that dream through. However, we did leave the perfect nest in there. After about 10 minutes, I go back to see 10 eggs just casually sitting there. The weird thing is I have no idea how old these eggs are. The 18 month old hen responsible went through a molt not to long ago so these eggs could be several months old, or only a few weeks. It has been fairly cool / cold outside so at least most of them are *probably* still a-ok.
Not really sure what to do. Is this something that just happens? In the coming days I'll check more often to see if she goes out to the "nest" several times a day. Thinking it would be a good idea to leave some eggs or all of them? Fairly confident that none of them are fertile / set to hatch, given the temperatures recently.

Not really asking a question, just wanted to show the world what's going on in my strange Texas flock!
IMG-3331.JPG
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
26,790
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Southeast Louisiana
Thinking it would be a good idea to leave some eggs or all of them?

Why? What would be the benefit? I don't see any benefit but curious as to what you are thinking.

How badly do you want to use those eggs? They might be perfectly safe to use. The bloom can keep bacteria out of them for a long time. Hens will hide a nest, lay eggs in it for a couple of weeks or more, and then incubate them for three weeks without them going bad. Some birds like turkeys incubate five weeks after laying a clutch.

If any have gone bad you can probably smell them through the porous shell. You'd certainly want to crack them in a separate bowl before you used them. if they don't smell you can cook them and feed them to your chickens if you don't want to eat them.

The float test will give you an idea of how old they are, not if they are any good or not. An egg loses moisture through that porous shell as it ages. That's what causes the air cell to grow, air replaces that moisture. When fresh, it sinks to the bottom in a bowl of water. After it has lost some moisture it will stand up on the bottom of that bowl of water, the air cell end on top. If it has lost enough moisture it will float to the top.

I'll repeat, the float test does not tell you if they are good or bad, just gives you an idea of how old they are. If they are bad you should be able to smell them through the porous shell.

When I find something like that I don't eat them myself and sure don't give or sell them to anyone else. I just don't need them that badly, I have plenty anyway. But chickens love cooked eggs.
 

Phantom_k9

Songster
Oct 29, 2019
242
207
116
North Texas
My Coop
My Coop
Why? What would be the benefit? I don't see any benefit but curious as to what you are thinking.

How badly do you want to use those eggs? They might be perfectly safe to use. The bloom can keep bacteria out of them for a long time. Hens will hide a nest, lay eggs in it for a couple of weeks or more, and then incubate them for three weeks without them going bad. Some birds like turkeys incubate five weeks after laying a clutch.

If any have gone bad you can probably smell them through the porous shell. You'd certainly want to crack them in a separate bowl before you used them. if they don't smell you can cook them and feed them to your chickens if you don't want to eat them.

The float test will give you an idea of how old they are, not if they are any good or not. An egg loses moisture through that porous shell as it ages. That's what causes the air cell to grow, air replaces that moisture. When fresh, it sinks to the bottom in a bowl of water. After it has lost some moisture it will stand up on the bottom of that bowl of water, the air cell end on top. If it has lost enough moisture it will float to the top.

I'll repeat, the float test does not tell you if they are good or bad, just gives you an idea of how old they are. If they are bad you should be able to smell them through the porous shell.

When I find something like that I don't eat them myself and sure don't give or sell them to anyone else. I just don't need them that badly, I have plenty anyway. But chickens love cooked eggs.
I probably woudln't use them either, more just impressed that there was this many that we never noticed. With leaving them in there I was thinking that she might be trying to hatch them? If so I figured it probably wouldn't hurt to let her go through with it. In fairness, I don't really know
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
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WA, Pac NW
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I probably woudln't use them either, more just impressed that there was this many that we never noticed. With leaving them in there I was thinking that she might be trying to hatch them? If so I figured it probably wouldn't hurt to let her go through with it. In fairness, I don't really know

Do you want her to hatch? Any clue how long she might've been sitting on these (if at all... if you see all your birds each night in the coop, no one's been sitting on them) If it's possible someone's been sitting overnight for a few nights, I would try candling them to see if there's any development.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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With leaving them in there I was thinking that she might be trying to hatch them?
What else would she do with them, bring them to your house for you to eat? :gig
She, and maybe other birds, just found a place they like to lay better than your coop nests.

You can break that habit if you want.
Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop/run for a week or so can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop and maybe run 24/7 for a few days to a week, provided you have adequate space and ventilation, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
 

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