How long can an egg be out before it is no good to eat?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mrsmaonaigh, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. mrsmaonaigh

    mrsmaonaigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes its me again. I'm still learning so I hope I don't seem to be asking too many questions. Since we found the hidden nest that had 7 eggs in it I need to know what to do. I'm guessing that the longest that they have been out there is 5 days. This is because 5 eggs were green and two were brown. Are these still edible? I do have a rooster so I'm worried about cracking them open to find a baby chick. I tried to do the candling thing and I see a large round shadow in the middle of most of them. One there looks like there may be a little more of a shadow. I don't really know what I'm looking for even with the help of some of the pictures online. So I guess the big question is to eat or not to eat?
     
  2. mrsmaonaigh

    mrsmaonaigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone?
     
  3. buzymom13

    buzymom13 I run the Alien Chicken Asylum

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    [​IMG]


    I'm not an expert but this is what I know... You can do the float/sink test. Take a bowl of water. You put the egg in the water...if it sinks IT"S GOOD!!! If it sorta sinks (middle of the water) it's still good for like scrambled eggs...or baking....etc. If it floats...YUK!!! [​IMG]


    The idea being that as an egg goes from fresh to bad it allows more air inside the shell and that's what makes it float...


    Hope it helps!!! And BTW...no question is stupid because if it was then I'd be a moron.... [​IMG]
     
  4. denim deb

    denim deb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I could be wrong because I'm still learning too, but from what I understand, the chicks don't start to develop until the momma starts to set. So, do the sink test. And, as long as they don't float, you should be good.
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Eggs are sterile provided the bird was healthy and there are no cracks or treatments that allowed bacteria into the egg. So a month on the counter with high enough humidity and the egg can still be used for food, might not hatch if it dried out too much though.

    Just put it in a cup of water, if it sinks, dine away.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    The float test is great if you are uncertain. For a fertile egg to start developing into a chick, you would have to have a broody, a hen that sits on the eggs almost 24/7. Eggs can sit around at room temperature for weeks and be perfectly good to eat, whether that's in the nest or on your counter. In Europe, they are sold off the shelf, not refrigerated, although it is true that refrigeration keeps them fresh longer.
     
  7. NevadaRon

    NevadaRon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My understanding is that they are refrigerated in stores in America because they are washed first, which removes the protective coating. [​IMG]
     
  8. gottsegnet

    gottsegnet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sink test is great. And depending on your weather, you may be surprised how many are good.

    In the heat of summer we found ten in a clutch in the hen house. No idea how long they had been there. Six were good. Just found six in the barn today and since the chickens have been locked down for five days, I know they were there at least that long before being discovered. We've had cooler weather, but they were all good.
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:I don't know if they are refrigerated because the are washed, but it is true that they are washed, I believe in a very weak bleach solution.
     
  10. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I don't know if they are refrigerated because the are washed, but it is true that they are washed, I believe in a very weak bleach solution.

    It is because the USDA requires commercial egg producers to wash all eggs, this process removes the "bloom" the bacterial protection the hen secrets that protects the egg until the embryo can hatch. Consequently all commercial eggs must be refrigerated which has led Americans to believe that is required of all eggs--it isn't; an unwashed egg will keep on the shelf for a month or better without going bad. If you have discovered a clutch of unknown age, using the float test will determine if they are still good. If you have any qualms about them, boil em up and feed em back to your chickens.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010

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