How to tell if an egg is fresh or even good at all


11 Years
Jul 8, 2010
once again I am not sure where this question belongs.

WE have been getting some eggs in the nests in the hen house. However I had Bill go check the horse shed (18 x20) cause a bunch of the hens came out of there today and after eating went back out to it. He brought in 31 eggs. Now since I only have 10 chickens (and as of today, only 9 could be found) Ii imagine they have been there for a while. I don't know which ones are new and which should be thrown away.

I remember there used to be a test about putting an egg in water and if it floated or sank. But I can't remember which of the results meant bad and which meant good.
Well.. i THINK... if the egg floats its older... (more air inside the egg, as it gets older and the egg white evaporates)
If its sinks... its a newer egg. (i.e. heavier solid egg)
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Sounds familar they sure do like to pull pranks on us don't they.

You are right put them in water. If they sink and stay completely horizontal they are fresh or I should say fresher. If it tilts a bit means that the air sack has enlarged due to evaporation (caused by age). As it gets older it will basically stand upright and when it is old it will float.

What you can do to be safe is just crack them open and if they don't smell bad, serve them up with sausage and toast to the girls for breakfast !!
Just kidding about the sausage and toast but you can cook them up for your girls or pets if you don't feel comfortable eating them yourself. One good thing is that it is winter and I highly doubt they would be bad, maybe old but not bad.
If you open one and it's bad you'll never open a suspicious egg again. I would suggest doing it outside.
I'm not sure how dependable the float test is. I had store bought eggs and the date on the carton was about 5 days earlier. So this egg was only 5 days past the "best buy" date. So I put it in water and it sunk. It didn't lay completely on it's side, but it didn't stand up under water either. So I hard boiled it and when I opened it, it stunk. So now I don't trust that method.

What do you think I did wrong? Was the water supposed to be hot or cold?
I don't think you did anything wrong and I don't think it matters what temp the water is.
I think the water test will just "help" determine the age of the egg not whether it has started to develop or is "rotten".

Even if you have a rooster and you don't have broody hens most likely they won't show any development BUT you just never know with these guys !! One surprise after another.

When you crack them open and if the yolk breaks apart very easily that could indicate an older egg but I'm no pro at that test either. Others may be able to shed some light on that one.

OP- If you start keeping track of your hens laying pattern now it will give you some kind of idea as to how long it would take for them to lay 30 eggs. Although you still won't know when they were laid but might help.

Every Day is an Easther Egg Hunt hey?
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the more it floats the older it is. freshest eggs lays as flat as possible in the water.

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