Leaky eggs??

khakismum

In the Brooder
Sep 15, 2021
9
31
39
I am a neophyte to chickens, so please be gentle. 😇

I have 3 layers and a good roo. I also have 6 juvenile chickens that are about 8 weeks old. My layers have been producing about 1-2 eggs a day. I bring my eggs inside, don’t wash them, and store them on the counter in a metal basket. I just noticed yesterday and again this morning that some of the eggs were sticky on the outside and when moved you could feel them sloshing around in the shell.



1. Can eggs leak through the shell?

2. What causes that and how do you remediate it?

3. Should I just toss the eggs and not feed back to the chickens?


I provide layer food for them (but they barely touch it), scratch, oyster shells, fresh fruits, and veggies, and they free range all over the insect-rich yard. Am I doing something wrong? Halp! Please.
 

Thunder344

Crowing
Sep 12, 2020
1,240
4,746
316
Stafford, Virginia
How is your nesting boxes setup? If the eggs have egg yolk/wood chips, etc from the nesting boxes it probably means that a egg broke and hit the other eggs. This sometimes happens to me.
 

khakismum

In the Brooder
Sep 15, 2021
9
31
39
How is your nesting boxes setup? If the eggs have egg yolk/wood chips, etc from the nesting boxes it probably means that a egg broke and hit the other eggs. This sometimes happens to me.
They have pine shaving in their boxes. I always inspect for cracked or broken eggs as I take them out of the boxes, especially if there is debris on them. The shells in question, in the house, are sticky on the downward side like honey or syrup. 💁‍♀️
 

BarnyardChaos

Songster
Apr 23, 2017
77
145
126
Richmond, MO
Immediately, and VERY carefully, remove those leaky eggs from the house, holding them at arm's length with your face turned away. Consider wearing a hazmat suit before you touch it. LOL - But seriously, those do sound like rotten eggs. If you've ever had one explode in your face (I have!), you'll learn to recognize them pretty quickly.

How to check for certain: Place one carefully in a container of water. If it sinks to the bottom and lays on its side, it's a good egg. If it sinks to the bottom but stands on end, it's still good, but use or cook this one soon. If it floats in the middle or at the top of the water, it's a BAD egg.

(edited to add: It's not the stickiness that worries me - but the sloshing sound. That's NOT good at all.)
 

BarnyardChaos

Songster
Apr 23, 2017
77
145
126
Richmond, MO
I'm far from being an expert, but as I understand it, eggshells are permeable. When laid, the hen's body coats the egg with a sticky substance called "bloom". The bloom keeps bacteria out, but allows air to pass through the shell. Hence, the recommendation to NOT wash your eggs before storage. (Some states even have laws against washing eggs!) And I know it's said ""safe"" to store your eggs at room temperature. But I don't trust that entirely, since we produce eggs for sale for others to eat. I don't wash my eggs, but I DO refrigerate. We very rarely, if ever, have a 'bad' egg. I've had some stay in refrigeration maybe 2 months (got overlooked in the rotation), and after doing the water test, had to toss out about half of them. I promptly cooked and ate the rest.

Can't say why this happened to your eggs, or how to prevent it. It sounds like you're giving proper feed etc... The only suggestion I might have is to refrigerate and rotate.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
18,238
37,079
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
I've had some stay in refrigeration maybe 2 months (got overlooked in the rotation), and after doing the water test, had to toss out about half of them. I promptly cooked and ate the rest.

Can't say why this happened to your eggs, or how to prevent it. It sounds like you're giving proper feed etc... The only suggestion I might have is to refrigerate and rotate.
No point in float testing the eggs in that situation, all that tells you is how old they are, and you already know the age. At 2 months, assuming they've been continuously refrigerated, they should all be safe to eat.

To OP: x2 on refrigeration. I would try refrigerating them and see if that fixes the issue, both the stickiness and the sloshing. They could possibly have tiny cracks that are difficult to detect that's causing them to go bad, not sure.

Can you tell if the "bad" eggs are from a single layer, or are the eggs not easily differentiated from one another?

I would also cut back on the treats (scratch, veggies, fruits) as they're not eating their feed which they should be eating, and free ranging so already supplying themselves with plenty of extras in their diet.
 

BarnyardChaos

Songster
Apr 23, 2017
77
145
126
Richmond, MO
No point in float testing the eggs in that situation, all that tells you is how old they are, and you already know the age. At 2 months, assuming they've been continuously refrigerated, they should all be safe to eat.
Yep, they *should* be safe. But since I sell eggs to my coworkers, neighbors and a few strangers, I played it safe. Got plenty to spare, anyway LOL
 

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