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How long before eggs go bad?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PoppyKenna, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. PoppyKenna

    PoppyKenna Hatching

    Aug 30, 2014
    I have two Brahma hens that are about 6 months old. The man who gave them to me has been telling me for over a month they should be laying and they weren't - but at least one of them started a few days ago. She's not very regular about it so I've been checking the coop (where they've been so far) and the tree they hang out under quite a bit to see if there's any getting dropped there. I've found most of them in the evening when they're still out - which means she goes back inside, lays her egg, and then comes back out again which is pretty cool. I found one this morning as well.

    My question is, if she lays an egg at noon, for example, how long can it be there before I collect it and still be good? My father is telling me that if I don't get it within about 30 minutes of it being laid that it will be bad, but that seems impossible.

    It's cold here (about 20 degrees at the moment) but their house is dry and I think warm. I don't keep it hot by any means but I do run a heater in the ceiling for a few hours at night just to keep it reasonably warm in there, somewhere around 45 degrees.

  2. Think about it. When I was a kid I gathered eggs twice a day. Once befor school and once when I got home from school. So, some of those "fresh eggs" had sat there all day waiting for me to get home and gather them. And, when they were taken inside they went into a basket on the kitchen counter...not into a refrigerator. And, the last time I checked I was still alive 60 odd years later and no worse for the ware.

    You DO NOT have to gather eggs and refrigerate them within half an hour of being laid. You should gather your eggs daily, perhaps a couple of times a day. To assure they stay fresh and safe refrigeration is suggested but not required. DO NOT wash your eggs unless they are very spoiled by chicken poop. The last thing that happens before they are laid is they are coated by what is called the "bloom" which helps to keep bacterial out of the egg. If you do wash them use only cool water. Don't use hot water as this may actually cause the bacteria to be drawn through the shell into the egg.

    My Pet Chicken as an interesting answer to just this question at http://www.mypetchicken.com/backyar...an-eggs-be-left-outside-once-theyve-H162.aspx
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    A couple different things. A cool egg can last months. Perhaps he's talking about the egg being frozen. Frozen eggs are still good after they thaw but they often crack allowing bacteria to get in. If I get frozen eggs, I put them in the freezer till I'm ready to use them.

    Please don't heat the coop. Brahmas don't need heat, firstly it's expensive, a bird kept warm at night and then goes out into a cold wind in the morning will be very stressed. If power goes out and they've been kept warm, the sudden change will be very hard on them. They need to acclimate to winter. It's not like you who wears pajamas and has a warm bed and house to sleep in at night and then in the morning put on warm insulated clothes and a big coat to go outside. They sleep in their insulated clothes.

    A good read on egg storage and how long they are good.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I agree with everything jtn42248 said except temperature of the wash water. It should be about 20 degrees warmer than the egg, usually lukewarm. The reason is warm water will expand the egg contents, cold water will contract them pulling bacteria into the egg. The opposite effect of what was posted.

    The section on cleaning egg in this link from U of CO http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09377.html
    http://osceola.ifas.ufl.edu/pdfs/CSA/egg handling.pdf read Very Important on page 2 from U of FL
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
  5. My bad. I had it just backward. I know you don't want hot water and since I almost never wash my eggs got confused. Typically, if an egg is soiled, I just use a damp paper towel to clean off the spot and put it away. I do, by the way, refrigerate my eggs when I gather them.
  6. Chick-O-Rama

    Chick-O-Rama Hatching

    Aug 18, 2015
    We went away for a few days (about 60 hours) came back & grabbed the eggs, washed them & put them in the fridge. haven't had any problems.

    I had been washing them in very hot water, so hot the whites turned white. Stopped doing that, & will now just wipe them down.

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