How long can eggs sit in coop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by yellowthechicken, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. yellowthechicken

    yellowthechicken New Egg

    Sep 18, 2009
    Raleigh NC
    Hi everyone. One of my hens just started laying this past week without me noticing! I think I had given up looking & thought she woudl just wait till spring but this morning I found 7 eggs in one of the nest boxes! I just cleaned the coop last week & they were not there. I have noticed that she has been VERY noisy in the morning- I guess this explains it. Should I toss these & wait for fresh ones? Moving fwd., how long can the eggs sit in coop? If I am out of town for a day or two will I need to get someone to come collect eggs daily?
    Thanks for your you can tell I am new to this!
  2. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    My friend keeps their chickens at their lake house and only collect once a week and their eggs are just fine. I read somewhere eggs are fine in any weather for 10 days, but I disagree. Your eggs will be cracked if it's below freezing out. Learned that the hard way. [​IMG]
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    With this weather, they are probably just as cold as if they were in the fridge. Now when it gets hot, that's another story.
  4. yellowthechicken

    yellowthechicken New Egg

    Sep 18, 2009
    Raleigh NC
    Thanks! Maybe I can save them! It would break my heart to throw them out. I'll try the float test just to be safe.
  5. TXmom

    TXmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree, in this weather they should be perfectly fine. But in the summer, I could probably incubate eggs in my coop. After a few days, I would probably see veining!
  6. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    Wow. How'd you miss them? I think I started searching every last corner of the chicken house starting at 14 weeks [​IMG]
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    As with most things chicken, it depends. As long as you don't have a broody setting on them, don't have extremes of temperature, don't have an egg eating predator or egg eating chicken, as long as the shells are hard and not cracked, they should be fine. I don't like to leave eggs in the coop overnight as I think it is attractive to egg eating predators, mainly rats but it could be something else. The longer you leave them in the coop, the more likely that one will accidentally get broken and help them become egg eaters. But as far as the egg going bad, if the temperature range is "normal", say between freezing and the low 70's, the eggs should be fine for 7 days.

    If a hen has started laying, there is no guarantee that she is laying every day. They could have been out there more that seven days. If you want to get a feel for how fresh the eggs are, try to float them in water. If they float they are questionable, not necessarily bad but be careful. As an egg gets older, it loses moisture through the shell and the air sac gets larger. After a while the air sac gets so large that the egg will float. This test does not necessarily tell you which egg is good or bad, but I'd be a whole lot more suspicious of an egg that floats. If you do the float test, use water that is a little warmer than the egg. If you put an eggis water that is colder than the egg, the air sac will contract, creating a suction on the egg shell that can pull water into the egg. This water might have bacteria in it. And if you do the float test, refrigerate any egg you want to keep. When you get the egg wet, you will wash off the bloom, a coating the hen puts on the egg to keep bacteria out. It will still keep a long time in the frig but I would not store it at room temperature.
  8. Chickiemama1010

    Chickiemama1010 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by