How long do eggs stay good under a hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Trish1974, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looonnnngggg day at work yesterday...so long I had to have my neighbor come over and lock up my chickens at dusk. I went out to collect eggs when I got home and found my Buff Orp sitting in the nest box. So I said "forget it" and planned to get them this morning. Well, she is still sitting her big butt on those eggs. I guess she couldn't stand seeing a full nest and decided to go broody. I tried scooting her off and she growled and got grumpy. I will let them out her in a bit, and if she doesn't come off the nest on her own I will physically remove her. Will the eggs still be good if she has kept them warm all night? I asked my neighbor if she was in the nest box when he locked them up, he said no, she was scratching around the floor of the coop and that he had seen her out and about during the day. So I am estimating she has sat on those eggs for 12 hours. Outdoor temp was around 30 degrees, and I do not have a rooster so the eggs aren't fertile, if that is relevant.
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I wouldn't be afraid to use them. If you want to be sure, just crack them into a separate dish before dumping them into the frying pan or your recipe.
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed. Though I would have reached under her and grabbed them last night.
     
  4. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Do the hens have access to a rooster? If so the eggs should stay good until they hatch. [​IMG]
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Yep, me too.
     
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Fertile or not is relevant. As yours are not fertile there is no worry at all. Eggs stay edible for months on a countertop. Longer if refrigerated. Twelve hours at 99 F is nothing in terms of diminished freshness.
     
  7. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone! She bailed as soon as I opened the coop door this morning so I collected the eggs and she seems content outside scratching around. Glad I can still use them!
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree with the others. Even fertile eggs laid in the morning with a broody hen are good to use as long as you collect them every day, you won’t see enough development to turn you off. Even if they start to develop they are safe to eat, but I can’t get by the YUK! factor. In some cultures those can be delicacies. Those unfertile eggs should be absolutely fine.

    I feel it’s always a good idea to crack any of our eggs into a separate bowl before mixing them in with anything else. Commercial eggs are electronically candled so any with blood spots, meat spots, or anything else weird about them are not sold at the grocery store. Since ours are not candled they can have weird stuff in them. They are still generally safe to use but if they are really bad that YUK! factor can come into play.
     
  9. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My two Buffs (one in particular) almost can't help but go to any eggs that are still in the nest boxes when they go back to the coop.
    Fortunately they're both fine with being reached under.

    Neither has ever been broody- Instead they seem to simply 'baby sit' the eggs, especially in cold weather. One hen in particular actually seems to wait for a broody to take her break and stays on fertile eggs until the broody returns to continue her work.

    At night it's almost like picking eggs (for eating) up from day care. A good pet and gathering of the eggs and they hop off as if to say "Oh good, glad you're here, I was getting hungry. Please leave the light on just a little longer so I can get a quick bite to eat and some water." It's become something of a ritual with zero broodiness, and only my BOs do this. Odd but useful!
     

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