How long can an egg sit outside in the nest?


8 Years
May 14, 2011
Smoky Mountains
So the golfball thing hasn't worked for me. I think all my hens were 100% free range before we got them. When my 3 leghorns laid the first few days, they laid on the ground in a nest they made out of hay next to the laying box, ignoring the golf balls in the box. As stated in previous posts, the leghorns stopped producing, probably from the move, while Gertie our older hen is faithfully laying about 5 per week. She laid this morning (also next to the box where she's been laying since we got her) and I'm wondering if maybe I shouldn't leave it in the nest for the leghorns to notice and maybe start laying again? Couple things...

1) How long can an egg sit in a nest, outside, not in direct sunlight, in 80 degree temps and still be edible later?

2) My non-layers...are their bodies actually producing eggs, and the conveyor belt is has just halted until conditions are right, or does the whole system shut down and their bodies have stopped the whole process of developing eggs?

3) I'm actually going to have to buy some eggs at the farmer's market today
I would say 3 days tops in warm weather, up to 5 or 6 when its cool but not going to freeze the eggs. It kind of depends -- fertile eggs may keep longer (???) than non fertile. I don't have any qualms about letting them sit on my counter for 4 or 5 days, but that is after they have been washed in a little bleach water and put into a clean bowl.

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