How long can a fresh laid egg be unfrigerated and be safe to eat?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 5LadyHens, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. 5LadyHens

    5LadyHens Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 11, 2011
    Stinson Beach, CA
    Hello Chicken and Duck Lovers,
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    We've been waiting patiently for our young hens to start
    laying eggs in their nesting beds in the coop for months.
    A couple of weeks ago I even bought some wooden eggs
    to put in their nests to encourage them to lay. Shortly
    after that we were blessed with an egg!
    Every day since I find 1 or 2 eggs in their nests...but we
    wondered when we'd start seeing more eggs from
    the 5 hens we have. Yesterday our sons found the
    Mother Lode. The boys came into the kitchen with
    18 eggs nestled inside their sweatshirts! Apparently
    our hens found that inside our old Willy's Jeep was
    a better place to lay eggs than inside their coop.
    I was hoping someone could now settle a family debate
    about these 18 eggs. Are they safe to eat? I say "No"
    because we have no idea when they were laid. Both
    our sons say "Yes"...that they need no refrigeration for
    weeks on end. Now that sounds ridiculous to me!
    Meanwhile I've marked these 18 new arrivals with a
    black X on top to keep them separate from our fresh
    laid eggs.
    Thanks for your input. Lisa
  2. danielkbrantley

    danielkbrantley Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2011
    Cleveland, Tennessee
    Word on the street is if they're rotten they'll stink or if put in water, float. Otherwise, you should be golden.
  3. rungirl

    rungirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    I really hate throwing out eggs.... that said, here's what we do. We don't refrigerate our eggs. We let them set out on the counter in a basket until we use them. It's based on the fact that they are not factory eggs being sold to a grocery store (which are a month old when you get them) and many other countries do not refrigerate. Your eggs stay much fresher since they are "sealed" by the hen when she lays them. That seal is the bloom and if it's washed off like they do for grocery stores, then it loses that seal and should be refrigerated.

    Bottom line is that if you think those eggs are a few weeks old, (which is probable because even 1 egg a day laid by one hen would only take 2 1/2 weeks), then they are probably fine.

    You could put them in water and if any float, discard them. Fresh eggs should sink. And if it still bothers you, break them into a bowl, and if they seem OK, use them in cooking.

  4. KirstenJL

    KirstenJL Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2011
    Central Ohio
    I was wondering the same thing because I want to try to sell some hatching eggs. I have only one purebred pair, so it will take at least 12 days to get a dozen. If they don't sell, I would prefer eating them to throwing them away.
  5. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

    Aug 3, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    They should be fine, but if you're a germophobe, why don't you just reward the girls and make a big pan of scrambled eggs, shells and all? That way, they won't go to waste, and they are getting a yummy, good for them treat. And you can see for yourself how they are inside....
  6. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Just to ease your mind, put them in water and if they sink they are fine. If it were me, I would then refrigerate since the bloom will be, at least for the most part, washed off.
  7. mistari

    mistari Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 1, 2009
    I don't refrigerate my eggs at all, I keep them in a basket on the kitchen counter. In fact, if you ever visit England one day you'll find that all the eggs in the grocery store are unrefrigerated and stacked in a normal aisle. When I asked my British aunt why the eggs weren't in the fridge she was perplexed as to why we put ours in the fridge. Just don't eat them if they smell rotten, in my experience that only happens if they get cracked or something and the germs are allowed into the egg.
  8. 5LadyHens

    5LadyHens Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 11, 2011
    Stinson Beach, CA
    Oh my! What a bounty of good information ya'll have given us!
    I've learned so much in your postings about our chickens and
    their beautiful eggs.
    I will definitely do the "egg float test" on the bumper crop of
    18 and then ones that sink will then be refrigerated. And
    from now on I know that I don't have to refrigerate our eggs
    we gather each day as long as we don't wash their protective
    membrane off beforehand.
    What an awesome group of people you are! Thank you!
  9. wsmoak

    wsmoak Chillin' With My Peeps

    One day I am going to get one of these to keep the eggs "in order" on the counter [​IMG]

    now I just write the date in pencil. But that's much less fun than an egg skelter.)

  10. the Pollo Loco

    the Pollo Loco Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2009
    Santa Cruz,CA
    If i'm not sure how old they are, I boil them and give them to the hens as a treat, beats throwing them away!!! [​IMG]

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