how to keep eggs from freezing in nesting box!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cluckey, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. cluckey

    cluckey Chillin' With My Peeps

    146
    1
    66
    Sep 17, 2014
    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep eggs from freezing in winter. I live in Wisconsin and we have temps below freezing right now. My chickens just started laYing this week but by the time I get home from work some of the eggs in the nesting boxes are frozen and cracked. Has anyone had any luck keeping the nesting boxes warm enough in winter?
     
  2. mortie

    mortie Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,145
    249
    181
    Feb 16, 2014
    The Frozen Tundra
    I think you mean below zero which is waaaay below freezing! I live in WI also. I just make sure I collect early. I know I am not getting more than 2 eggs so if I got out early s d there are two I am good to go. If only one I know to check back. Frozen eggs are OK as long as they don't crack. I don't eat cracked ones but I haven't noticed any problems with frozen ones that haven't cracked.
     
  3. mortie

    mortie Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,145
    249
    181
    Feb 16, 2014
    The Frozen Tundra
    Since you aren't able to check in until after work you might lose some eggs during this really harsh stuff we're having now. How many birds do you have? Another thing that helps me is that usually the birds lay in the same box which means someone sits on the previously laid egg and keeps it warm a little longer.

    I personally don't think I would recommend doing any electric heating of the nest box. I know, it stinks because your birds just started laying and now your eggs are getting wasted. I know they have heating mats for reptiles and stuff...I just don't know if it would use one myself. Cracked eggs get cooked and fed back to the chickens here so at least they're not wasted. I know how you feel though, when mine first started laying last summer I dropped one. I was so mad I could have screamed. Waited for so long for those eggs and I DROPPED ONE and wasted it. :(
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,650
    187
    186
    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    I'm in Wisconsin too checking in the morning and afternoon is the only thing that helps and I still don't catch them all. One thing that helps me is they all lay in a couple spots so they set on the eggs as they're laying which protects them for awhile. Next summer I'm gonna insulate my coop and see if I can come up with something to keep it above zero inside
     
  5. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,612
    196
    198
    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    Unless they are encrusted with poop, I just let the frozen ones thaw in the fridge and then cook them. I fry them up...boiling would make a mess. When they thaw, you will know which ones have ruptured the inner membrane lining of the egg, because they will leak egg white. I eat those, too, but I'm not squeamish. You could just eat the non leaky ones. Plus, at the slight chance of pathogens getting into the egg, they will be cooked to death anyway. Think raw chicken meat...it doesn't make you sick if you cook it first.

    Btw, they taste just the same. Freezing doesn't seem to affect the texture, either.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
  6. mortie

    mortie Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,145
    249
    181
    Feb 16, 2014
    The Frozen Tundra
    You're right about them tasting the same. I was worried about freezing affecting the quality and it hasn't. I have eaten some eggs I KNOW froze but they didn't crack. Just fine :)
     
  7. cluckey

    cluckey Chillin' With My Peeps

    146
    1
    66
    Sep 17, 2014
    I've saved the few that have been frozen but not cracked. Good idea on scrambling the cracked ones and feeding it back to the flock! I'll have to start doing that with those ones! We have 12 chickens and we are getting at least 2 eggs a day right now, last night there were three and at 6am there was already a very small thin shelled one laid! I'm just thinking when everyone starts laying how sad it'll be to have so many cracked frozen eggs :( Hopefully someone will start sitting on them during the day!
    I saw someone that made a heat pad out of a sewn piece of fabric filled with rice that she heated and then put in the nesting boxes. I was just curious if there were any other ideas out there. Thanks everyone!
     
  8. SixChickFlock

    SixChickFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

    208
    27
    96
    Mar 23, 2014
    Chicago - Old Irving Park
    I read somewhere of a chicken keeper using an electric seed starting mat (on a timer) to heat his nest boxes. Depending on your set up, that might work nicely to keep the nest area just a little warmer.

    I have one of these. It's 15 at least years old. Used it for growing up chicks last year... Keeping the young pullets warm during their first really cold week outside in a temp coop. A waterbed heater might work, too.
     
  9. yooper coop

    yooper coop Out Of The Brooder

    37
    5
    33
    Jun 18, 2014
    Iron River Michigan
    Ok guys, I'm in the u.p. of michigan. 10 below this morning. I am checking as soon as I can in the morning ect.. and there wouldn't be a problem except my hens aren't laying in the boxes.well some are and those eggs are good, but the ones layer on the floor are split and ruined. Any tips. Waited since June for eggs and hate to throw these away
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by