Frozen chicken eggs?

Clucking_Crazy

Songster
Apr 5, 2018
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Central Illinois
This is my first winter with chickens. It's getting colder and colder, and during the work week the eggs are sitting in the nest boxes until about 4pm. They are sooo cold when we pull then out! Current temp is 25 degrees with a windchill of 16 degrees.

My question is, how do you know if an egg gets so cold that it freezes? (Will it burst, or look unchanged?)

Also, what does the freezing process do to the integrity of the egg inside - for eating purposes? All of the eggs have looked normal so far, but as I sell to friends and family, I do not want to sell eggs that might have froze for a bit if it is going to make them unsafe or otherwise undesirable to eat.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
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When it really freezes, all the way, it splits open. Here is a picture I grabbed from the internet, but this is typical of what I find when it's extremely cold or I don't get to the eggs fast enough. If they are bad enough that they split open like this, I let them thaw on the counter and then crush them and feed them back to the flock, shell and all. If they just partially freeze I store and cook them as normal. I don't know if they'd keep as long, but we go through eggs pretty quick in our house, especially in winter when there aren't as many eggs.

crackedeggs.jpg
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
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South Park, Colorado, USA
Sometimes smaller, harder to see, cracks will form before they get this bad. After they thaw, since you are selling/giving away eggs, if you candle the eggs you can see any cracks that have formed. I would not sell/give away any cracked eggs, but I do eat them myself. Honestly, since it's because they have been so cold, if eaten within a day or two, I don't believe much bacteria growth within the egg is likely, plus I'm cooking the eggs.
 

HuffleClaw

Sudden Reptile Fanatic
Jul 8, 2018
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Agreeing with the others :woot


Also, if you see those cracks, you’re going to want to discard those eggs, or feed them back to your flock. :)
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
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South Park, Colorado, USA
This is a great picture @GC-Raptor , exactly what I was trying to explain, sometimes they don't look cracked, but are cracked. The egg in your picture is not one I would sell to someone else. In your own home, you can know and eat quickly or feed to your flock, but if you sell it on to someone else, you don't know how long it will sit and at what temperature before they cook it, or how well they will cook it for that matter, so it's just not safe to pass along to someone else.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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Good advice above.
I don't eat cracked eggs..feed em back to the birds.
Rarely have them any more as I am able to gather frequently on those frigid days.
May start candling tho.

Have never been able to tell frozen from not(without obvious cracks) supposedly you can spin them to tell, look up spinning hard boiled eggs, never got the hang of that-don't have a great place to do it.

@RonP heats his nests:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/heated-nesting-boxes-help-stop-frozen-eggs.67252/

Here's frozen one I peeled, it was cracked.
upload_2018-12-10_7-54-7.png
 

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