How long will eggs be okay to eat when left outside?

Lil Chickie Mama

Songster
10 Years
Apr 1, 2009
545
4
141
California
I found a hidden clutch of eggs today in a dog crate that I had "abandoned" in an area outside of tools and things I wont use until spring. I know...I know...my stupidity for leaving something that they can get into, oops. Anyway there were about 15 eggs and I don't know how long they had been there. One indication that it's been a while is that my Barred Rock apparently started laying. I had 4 eggs from her (no one else lays that color) and I don't know if she would go right to laying one a day so it's at least 4 days old but could be older. We've had some rain here but there wasn't any water inside the crate and the eggs aren't wet. Are they still okay to eat? I don't plan to try and hatch them or anything and no one was setting on them.
 

chickenma

Songster
11 Years
Sep 8, 2008
499
8
131
North Carolina
Do the water test.
most of the time you still can eat them.
Put water in a bowl you can see through.
If the egg stays at the bottom , it is still good to eat.
if it doesn't stay at the bottom , toss it away.
eggs stay pretty long fresh as long as it is not hot outside.

good luck
 

TriciaHowe

Mother Hen
11 Years
Nov 11, 2008
2,351
14
191
Trenton, FL
Yep water test is good. You can also candle them. The larger the aircell the older the egg. They should be good for at least 2-3 weeks outside - even longer in the cooler weather.
 

Andi

Songster
10 Years
Jul 6, 2009
685
23
181
West Central Minnesota
I've read that in Australia they don't even store eggs in the frig. Not even in stores.

What the water test does is gives you an idea of how old the egg is. Over time air will slowly seep into the shell. The more air, the older the egg, the more likely it is to float.

I'll share a link with you about egg storage that was done by Mother Earth News. It may give you an idea of how long eggs will hold up depending on what sort of environment they are kept in.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Sustainable-Farming/1977-11-01/Fresh-Eggs.aspx

I also had discovered a hidden nest this last Fall. What I did was kept the cleanest shelled eggs for us to eat and used the ones with the most soiled shells (which have been walked on the most when the others were getting laid) and cooked them up for the chickens and the dogs. In my case, when I cracked them open they all looked fresher then store bought eggs and probably would have been fine for us.

Congratulations on the new layer and finding the nest. It is neat seeing a nest full of eggs.
 

Lil Chickie Mama

Songster
10 Years
Apr 1, 2009
545
4
141
California
I was wondering if the water test would be mentioned, I'm glad it was because I forgot which thing meant they were still good. What about the rain? Do you think the bloom could have been washed off? Any bacteria in the egg?
 

txchickie

Songster
11 Years
Nov 15, 2008
1,405
14
161
Texas
Personally I would feed them to our dogs and cats, just to be safe!
smile.png
 

Andi

Songster
10 Years
Jul 6, 2009
685
23
181
West Central Minnesota
You mentioned the eggs were dry in the nest, so I'm guessing any rain would have been minimal and not been an issue. If they had been setting in water, then the bloom may have diminished. Eggs are a pretty incredible thing! Nature knows what its doing.

When you are planning on using eggs you could try them. Hold off on washing them until just before using them (to keep the protective bloom intact). Oh, use warm water so if there is any bacteria on the outside of the shell that it doesn't suck it in. Crack the eggs into a cup one by one. It'll be pretty obvious if they are bad. The yolk won't hold together and it will have a funky odor. If the yolk is dark golden, that's just a result of the girls getting to eat plants and bugs, and nothing to worry about. Personally, I like the taste better when they've been free ranging and the yolk has that rich color. If the yolk has taken on a brownish color, well, that's not safe to eat.
 

minimike

Hatching
9 Years
Mar 2, 2010
1
0
6
Quote:
That's right mate , we don't keep them in the fridge !

My Punk Rocker ( Nancy ) started laying the other week , I checked on Friday and didn't see any eggs but by Sunday she had managed to lay 4 !

I didn't see any more eggs for a week until my Dad found 3 under a bush , they had been out in 40+ temperature all week and still tasted great.
 

CarolynPerth

In the Brooder
10 Years
Nov 14, 2009
45
0
32
Perth
Chimes in from down under. I often find a clutch hidden and all I do is crack the egg seperately before use, so far only found one bad. It's been a heat wave here (100+ for a couple of weeks) and some eggs sit out for 3 or 4 days. I put those eggs straight in the fridge but fresh laid can go in the basket on the counter top and usually get used up before a week (always taking from the bottom).

Chickens evolved in tropical areas and the eggs have to stay fresh enough to develop a healthy chick for some time before the hen starts to incubate them so I figure a few days heat does not turn them bad.
 

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